The Energy Report: In September 2012, you described $100/barrel (bbl) as the new normal. What market factors are behind today's price of $93/bbl?
Bob Moriarty: If the new normal is $100/bbl in any given market, the price should be as high as $115/bbl and as low as $85/bbl. The price will continue to swing around that. Even with the Bakken coming on-line and other domestic U.S. production occurring in the U.S., cheap oil is gone.
TER: So when you look at oil consumption, do you look just at the U.S. or do you look globally? For example, what role does China play?
BM: I am concerned with U.S. consumption as a measure of how the economy is doing. Oil use in the U.S. has been declining since 2008 because economic activity has been declining since then. I think oil consumption in the U.S. is the best indicator of economic activity because there is direct correlation between the two. [See first chart below]
China is an indicator of global consumption. I am not concerned with global consumption. But if you want to measure what is happening in China, look at the spot price of copper, which is hitting new lows. China is slowing down. [See second chart below] [Read more...]