Oil still very much makes the world go around, but the balance is starting to shift. Even a few short decades ago, oil was the unquestioned energy source of choice for just about every Western country. While France’s commitment to nuclear energy might have made it something of an odd duck and certain geographically unusual places like Iceland could make expansive use of geothermal technology, these were always the exceptions. Thanks to too much turbulence in the petroleum markets over the years, though, along with a growing awareness of the downsides of the fuel, American and European countries have generally been moving away from oil for many years now.
The fast-growing countries of Asia are actually doing the same, in most cases, but the sheer rate of their collective expansion has meant that demand for oil is still growing. Those who visit here will find a recent post that details the implications of this fact for investors, with not every conclusion being anything like obvious.
Production, of course, has been rising steadily in recent years. OPEC kicked this shift off under the usual leadership of Saudi Arabia, with the goal having been to squeeze North American shale producers out of the market. With Iran since having come out from under sanctions to ramp up its own production activities, millions of barrels more oil were already being put on the market each and every day.
That predictably depressed prices, with the low point having been reached last year, even in the face of steadily growing demand. Unfortunately for OPEC’s ambitions, North American shale extraction has proved to be a lot more resilient than was expected, with only a brief dip in output levels having followed upon the cartel’s aggressive action.
With global production therefore healthier than ever, investors who remain bullish on oil might wonder where to invest. In most cases, as the report linked earlier makes clear, looking to Asia will be the best option of all. Although there are never any sure bets with any kind of investment, the demand for oil in Asia is on such a trajectory that many investors feel opportunities to be found there are some of the most attractive of all.