June 23, 2011

U.S. Release from Strategic Petroleum Reserves: Quick Reaction

As I sit at my desk returning emails and eating a nice muesli lunch, I was a bit startled by the new headlines that that United States and its IEA friends "would release 60 million barrels of crude oil from reserves over the
next 30 days
." My initial reactions were, in order:

  1. IEA countries must expect Libya to keep dragging on.
  2. IEA countries must expect broad Middle East/North Africa unrest to stay steady or get worse before it gets better.
  3. Iran.
  4. WOW.
  5. This is a transition that will be slow, decadal, but I'd bet the last OPEC meeting will look to historians like a notable event in the decline of OPEC.
  6. Are IEA officials taking more seriously projections from the likes of HSBC and other major players in the global marketplace that our timeline for economical petroleum production is not altogether too far off in the future?
  7. WOW.

Obviously there is a strong political element to caring about gas prices, but hey, that's the job of political leaders. I do see this as a strong foretelling of 2012 election year headlines, even if it is anecdotal: gas prices & their economic impact overtook Afghanistan on the Washington Post homepage as soon as the story broke.