Thursday, July 27, 2017

Shell strategy is moving away from oil

For many who studied Peak Oil, we feared a spike in prices and perhaps even shortages and chaos.  Of course, oil did spike over $100 a barrel, helping to precipitate the 2008 financial crisis. (Oil spikes are often followed by recessions.) But few expected oil, so enmeshed in our economy, to go out with a fizzle. But it appears that demand for oil is waning at least as fast as reserves.

Shell is planning for oil to continue in the $40-50 a barrel range and is already switching toward natural gas. (Note natural gas is mostly used for heating and electricity generation, not so much for vehicles. So it doesn't replace oil, at least not directly.) But Shell sees the switch to electric cars inevitable and is developing strategies to be a player in the renewable energy field.
"Shell plans to spend $1bn (£760m) a year on its ‘New Energies’ division, which was set up last year to develop hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels that could be used by the aviation and shipping industries to cut their reliance on oil.

Shell is already the largest trader of renewable power in the US and said it would look at the role it could play as a system integrator or aggregator of renewable power in addition to its existing solar and wind power assets."

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