Robert Rapier's Contributions

Where Hubbert Went Really Wrong on Peak Oil

If you happen to be interested in the topic of “peak oil”, you almost certainly know the name M. King Hubbert. While you may know that Hubbert is widely credited with accurately predicting the peak of US oil production, you may not know...

Why I am Skeptical of Electric Vehicles

Before you start furiously typing out a retort, hear me out. First, I want to make it clear what I am not skeptical about. I am not skeptical about electric vehicles (EVs) continuing to grow rapidly for the foreseeable future.

Renewable Energy Breaking Records but Fossil Fuels Still Dominate

Had I realized the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report (GSR) was about to be released by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), I would have held off on my previous article The Solar Story Is Just...

The Solar Story Is Just Getting Started

Several years ago, when I was working on my book Power Plays, I spent a lot of time thinking about the future of energy. One thing I concluded was that solar power would become one of the world’s most important sources of energy...

The Massive Decline In Crude Oil Reserves

I spent a lot of time in 2015 warning that at year-end we would see a huge decline in crude oil reserves. As I have explained in the past, the reason I expected this is because of the relationship between proved oil reserves and oil prices.

Natural Gas Bankrupted the US Coal Industry

Yesterday, as had been expected, Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) — the largest coal producer in the United States — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Following the announcement I immediately began to receive...

Robert Rapier’s Five Energy Predictions for 2016

Jan 8 – Robert Rapier, a chemical engineer and energy analyst, makes specific predictions each year related to the energy market, whether it’s the price of oil or even who will win 2016’s presidential election. In this interview, Robert discusses his five predictions, which ones he feels most...

Top 10 Energy Stories of 2015

As I have done for several years now, I like to close out the year by highlighting the top stories in the energy sector. The 2015 list was challenging, because so many of the stories are interrelated. Commodity prices continued to plummet, but oil, natural gas...

Energy on the Edge: Understanding the Challenge

Along with the OPEC meeting that takes place late this week, the biggest story in the world of energy is the Paris Climate Change Conference (Conference of Parties 21, or COP21) that runs through the end of next week. This conference is put on by the United Nations with the goal of producing...

The Boom-Bust Cycle - Five Stages of the Oil Industry

The history of the oil industry has been one of cycles, from nearly the beginning of the industry in the 1850s through today. In the down cycle that we are currently experiencing, demand rises due to low prices, even as oil producers begin to cut capital...

President Hillary Clinton Will Oppose Crude Oil Exports

I know some people cringe at the idea, but Hillary Clinton is the current favorite to win not only her party’s nomination, but the presidential election in 2016. An online Irish bookmaker lists Hillary at 11/8 odds to win the presidency...

Robert Rapier on $20 Oil - Goldman Sachs Has No Crystal Ball

Sep 24 – Goldman Sachs has given a possible downside target for oil at $20. Robert Rapier points out that Goldman does not have a crystal ball and that they also projected oil to rise as high as $200 in 2008 right before it crashed. He also discusses the oil export...

Peak Oil Is a Function of Oil Price

The scientific study of peak oil began in the 1950’s, when Shell geophysicist M. King Hubbert reported on the evolution of production rates in oil and gas fields. In a 1956 paper Hubbert suggested that oil production in a particular...

Lessons From a Failed Prediction

While there are actually other stories unfolding in the world of energy, you would never know that by my inbox. Most of the correspondence I have received in the past week is still related to oil prices, particularly following...

Why the $20 Oil Predictions Are Wrong

As the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) retests the $40 per barrel (bbl) mark, some pundits are again calling for WTI to fall to $15 or $20/bbl. The same thing happened earlier in the year when crude prices tested...

The Link Between Oil Reserves and Oil Prices

Last December the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest estimate of U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves. Although natural gas reserves rose, the real story was crude oil reserves.

Is the U.S. Really the World’s Top Oil Producer?

According to the recently-released BP (NYSE: BP) Statistical Review of World Energy 2014, the U.S. was the world’s largest and most diverse energy producer in 2014. The Statistical Review ranked the U.S...

OPEC Crashed the U.S. Rig Count

There is a popular narrative going around that I want to address in today’s article. Last November, after several months of plummeting crude oil prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met to discuss the oil

Is Audi’s Carbon-Neutral Diesel a Game-Changer?

Occasionally I am deluged with inquiries about a particular news story. That happened this week. As the inquiries mounted, I decided I better address the story. After I saw one more gushing, uncritical report on CNN, I knew...

Highlights of the 2015 Annual Energy Outlook

Last week the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Annual Energy Outlook 2015(AEO2015). The report presents updated projections for U.S. energy markets through 2040 based on six cases...

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