Richard Ha writes:
Because Hawai‘i relies so much on oil for its energy, the state will be a major beneficiary of the shale oil phenomenon. Conventional oil development takes a long time – five to ten years – whereas activating a shale oil well takes less than a year.
The result is that whenever the Saudis try to raise the price of oil, our U.S. shale oil drillers will react wherever they can make money.
Shale oil’s investment cycle is shorter and its decline profile sharper than conventional oil production. Current indicators suggest legacy declines from shale will catch up fast with the industry. This points to a sharp deceleration in US shale oil output. But, while conventional oil takes time to slow down, it also takes time to speed up. It will be shale that is best placed to benefit from any oil price recovery, as Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts Energy Economists, explains in this month’s selection from the publication. Read the rest
At $70 a barrel, a lot of people make money and at $40, a lot of people lose money. This safety valve is very good for us in Hawai‘i.
This will give us time to make rational energy decisions. Oil and gas are still finite resources. Because two-thirds of our economy is based on consumer spending, we need to find solutions that take care of the rubbah slippah folks. Low prices for them strengthens the economy for all.
Each island has its own basket of energy resources. The Big Island, because of its abundant geothermal resource, has the biggest basket of lowest cost alternatives. O‘ahu has the smallest basket of resources and so it needs help from the other islands—hence, the talk about cabling resources.
The elephant in the room is cabling geothermal resources from the Big Island. That will never happen, though, unless the Big Island residents themselves receive a demonstrated benefit from geothermal.
So now we need to work on getting Big Islanders definite low cost and other benefits from geothermal—like making hydrogen for transportation and even nitrogen fertilizer.
Then we can have a group of Big Islanders, representing the people, sit across the table and negotiate the conditions under which the people would approve exporting energy off island.
I would think education for our keiki might be a good starting point.