It was perhaps no coincidence that Pope Francis singled out air conditioning as an example of “harmful” consumption in his June 18 Environmental Encyclical, mere days before the Northern Hemisphere was fully into summer.
It is impossible to talk today about energy issues without beginning with an acknowledgement of the Pope’s Environmental Encyclical that was officially released today, and leaked globally earlier this week.
This Friday OPEC meets in Vienna. The elephant in the room is the very visible impact of America’s shale fields on world oil markets. The technologies that have unleashed U.S. shale hydrocarbons have resulted in the fastest growth in oil production in a century.
The spectacular emergence of an industry that drills in shale formations to produce hydrocarbons is generating massive quantities of untapped data. The $600 billion in U.S. shale infrastructure investments and the nearly 2,000 million well-feet drilled has produced hundreds of petabytes of relevant data.
The shale industry is unlike any other conventional hydrocarbon or alternative energy sector in that it shares a growth trajectory far more similar to that of Silicon Valley’s tech firms.
Just before Earth Day 2011 when oil was selling for $120 a barrel, former Saudi oil minister Sheikh Yamani put out the idea that oil prices could imminently reach $200 to $300 per barrel. He was referring to the implications of unrest in the Middle East in the wake of the then recent Tunisian…