Chapter ElevenFlattener #8 – Demand Displacement

The future is already here. It's just not widely distributed yet.

William Gibson

The battle for transportation demand

As of today, crude oil and OPEC are undisputed leaders in the transportation industry, and very few people believe their monopolies and domination are at risk.

The threat of “outsiders” such as natural gas vehicles, electric cars, hybrids, and fuel cell cars is largely dismissed as “too small”, or “there is no viable alternative”, or “will take a long time”, or simply “it will never happen”.

But complacency is dangerous.

And the threat of these “outsiders” is real, and represents an uprising against the monopoly of crude oil and OPEC.

The battleground is transportation.

The timing is now.

I am not saying that crude oil will disappear from the transportation sector. We will certainly continue to drive cars on gasoline and diesel for the foreseeable future.

What I am saying is that the monopoly is at risk, and that it does not take that much displacement to generate a change in prices.

A sustained scenario of “ever-increasing demand”, “ever-decreasing supply”, and “no competition” is “wishful thinking”, and in my view, OPEC is faced with increased competition and will meet difficult choices.

During a road show through the Middle East in the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to meet a series of senior executives and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. I was presenting some of the early ideas from this book. The ...

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