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July 31, 2019 | Permanent and Cyclical Shifts Undermining Oil Demand

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

Most of the plastics presently in use are made from crude and are not recyclable and non-biodegradeable.  Most people are just realizing this now. As word spreads, banning plastic straws and bags are barely a beginning.  Much broader bans and demands for reuseable and biodegradable packaging types are inevitable because doing otherwise makes zero sense and thinking people see that.

Canadian grocers Sobeys will remove plastic grocery bags from all of their stores by the end of January.  Here is a direct video link.

These trends, along with others like rising energy efficiency, renewables and electric vehicles are permanent shifts that will continue to detract from crude oil demand going forward.  In addition, the price of crude (in black below) and energy company shares (red) are digesting the cyclical reality of the global economic downturn now underway.  Both are shown here since 2011 in my partner Cory Venable’s chart.

Canada needs to embrace reality and ramp up investment in alternative fuels and bio-plastics so the economy can skate to where the puck is going. See The war on plastic will dent crude oil demand more than anticipated:

Using the IEA World Energy Outlook as a benchmark, decreased used of plastics and increased recycling could diminish oil demand from petrochemicals in 2040 by more than 20%, bring projected peak oil demand forward by a decade and diminish the need for oil-based petrochemical production capacity by 20 per cent. The dent in oil demand by 2040 would exceed the one that the IEA predicts would accompany the introduction of electric cars.

As usual, the status quo is fighting to resist necessary evolution here see How the plastics industry is fighting to keep polluting the world.

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July 31st, 2019

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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