In the latter part of the nineteenth century, US crude oil production was just getting started. Initially, kerosene was considered the most useful product of crude refining. Gasoline was deemed useless, and was dumped in rivers or burned. At the start of the twentieth century, wood and coal were still the top energy fuels. Incredibly, they were responsible for over 90 percent of global energy consumed. But all that changed in 19101 when Henry Ford and others began mass-producing cars and light trucks with internal combustion engines (ICE) fueled by gasoline. Fast-forward to the early part of the twenty-first century, and we see that the interdependent relationship between ICE vehicles and crude oil, which transformed society, is starting to fray. It used to be that the growth of Western countries would move in parallel with their energy consumption. Not anymore. For the first time, we are seeing a decoupling of that phenomenon in some advanced countries.
In fact, there's going to be a lot of crude oil demand destruction coming in the next several years. That's going to completely disrupt the oil industry. We could see hundreds of companies filing for bankruptcy. And the Saudi Aramco initial public offering just might not happen… not now, not ever.
Think I'm kidding? Just look at what happened from 2015 to 2017 in the deep water drilling industry.