USA – Emerging LNG Giant: October Issue of TerraJoule.us

Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Podcast: This month’s podcast is for subscribers and purchasers only.

From this month’s issue:

TerraJoule.us remains firm with its call that global oil prices will reprice to $150/barrel by the year 2020. In the chart below, which equalizes various energy sources using the unit of a million btu, that translates to $25.86—per million btu. Notice, also, that the forecast does not make radical pricing changes for the other energy course outside of oil. CApp Coal (Central Appalachian coal) and PRB Coal (Powder River Basin coal) are only about 25% higher than today’s prices—which are currently at extreme lows. The most important pricing relationship, however, can be found between the price of N.A. NG (North American natural gas) and Asian LNG. Sourced at $6.00 per million btu and sold into the robustly growing Asian LNG market at $14.00, this arbitrage marks a substantial improvement in the price paid to producers in North America, and better still, the price paid by buyers in Asia. Indeed, the era of ridiculously high wintertime LNG prices in Asia near $20.00/million btu are coming to an end. Australia and the US together are in the process of dismantling the Middle East’s price gouging of Asian buyers. And although profit margins for Australian LNG will be lower, that country does have the advantage of its closer proximity to the whole of Southeast Asia. Overall, the prospect of substantial new LNG supply to Asia is bullish, economically, for that region. This adds another piece to the view of a global economy very much recovered by 2020.

Forecasted Prices Million btu in the Year 2020

 

Also in this month’s issue:

The model portfolio as of 30 September 2014 is up +1.62% since inception. The portfolio declined along with the broader market, during the month of September. There are no changes this month to the portfolio’s composition.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – USA: Emerging LNG Giant – October 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

Uber and Oil: September Issue of TerraJoule.us

Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Podcast: This month’s podcast is for subscribers and purchasers only.

From this month’s issue:

The supertrend in which Uber is already taking part is the transition of vehicle use from one that concentrates on distance, to power. In the post-automobile growth era, the culture has become re-acquaninted with the fact that the highest and best use for vehicles is the short-distance hauling operation, in which concentrated energy (oil) is employed to ferry improbably large loads that would otherwise take many human hours of labor. In order to control uniformity of the ride-service to users, and to reduce exposure to upward volatility in oil prices, it seems inevitable that Uber is going to continue to concentrate on the short-distance market, and will eventually have to invest in capital equipment: namely, electric vehicles. Whether Uber builds a fleet of EVs (electric vehicles), or helps drivers purchase their own, is an open question. The important point here is that global transportation will become increasingly bifurcated between long and short-distance travel. Governments, as previously discussed, will increasingly take over the responsibility to provide interstate high speed rail, commuter rail, and light-rail. That leaves a fairly large and enduring market around the great urban sprawls: not only in the OECD, but in the Non-OECD. Given that the spread between a gallon of gasoline and an eGallon (see graphic below, from doe.gov) will continue to widen, it’s inevitable that Uber will have to eventually embrace EVs. The prospect that Uber will eventually own a lot of depreciating capital equipment may take the shine off its current business-model and attractiveness of its prospects as a growth company, but there would seem few ways Uber can control costs during the next repricing of oil—which is also likely to not be accompanied by an advance in wages. The good news is that the prospects for significantly higher electricity prices, at least in the US, are low. While Terrajoule.us remains firm that global oil supply has permanently entered a constrained era, the growth of inputs to global electricity has no constraint—just yet. North America has enormous reserves of natural gas; coal reserves globally are gargantuan; and best of all the growth of renewables will continue at its astonishing pace.

Also in this month’s issue:

The model portfolio as of 31 August 2014 is up +11.92% since inception, having recovered  nicely since the market declines of summer. This month will see the cash level taken down to zero, as we head into Autumn fully invested. Using the last bit of cash left in the model portfolio, we are going to become heavily weighted this month in oil…

“TerraJoule.us eBook – Uber, and Oil – September 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

The New Dependency on US Oil: August Issue of TerraJoule.us

Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Podcast: This month’s podcast is opened up, and is freely available at SoundCloud.

The United States has been a commodity producing giant for over a century. And so, in one sense, there is nothing new in its latest emergence as a major energy exporter. The US contains the world’s largest coal reserves, with exports nearly tripling in the decade from 2002-2012. And even at the low points of US natural gas and oil production—approximately in the year 2005—the US was still the single largest producer of natural gas globally, and, produced more daily oil than Iran, or Iraq, or Canada. However, it’s been the remarkable change in the country’s oil balance sheet that has grabbed headlines the past several years. Growing oil supply by a million barrels per day each year, while reducing oil consumption at the same time, has greatly reduced the US call on global oil.

Accordingly, the world has become unwittingly dependent on this the strong rate of US supply growth, reflected mainly in the stable price of oil. Should US oil supply growth slow, however—and we think it will—the price sensitivity to such a change will be far higher than global oil markets currently anticipate.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – The New Dependency on US Oil – August 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

Big Trends in Global Energy: July Issue of TerraJoule.us

Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Podcast: This month’s podcast is for subscribers and readers, only.

TerraJoule.us is pleased to announce we are now working with Blue Terminal of Vancouver, BC to bring you the highest quality data, and data visualization. The core theme discussed in this month’s issue, Big Trends in Global Energy, is of course the transition from oil to power. In this regard, the growth in global electricity generation has strongly outpaced global oil production for the ninth straight year. |  see: Global Growth Rates: Electricity Generation vs. Crude Oil Production 2003-2013. (click on image to enlarge)

Global-Growth---Electricity-v-Crude_updated

Also in this month’s issue:

The TerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, as of the close on Monday, 30 June 2014, is up +13.62% since the inception date, April 1, 2013. The portfolio is currently enjoying its best performance so far, even with cash levels above 20%. We remain, however, in the typical accumulation phase of Summer. More cash will be deployed, therefore. As of the close of trading on Tuesday, 1 July, we will make further changes to the model portfolio, increasing exposure to two (2) separate ETFs.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – Big Trends in Global Energy – July 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

India Unleashed: June Issue of TerraJoule.us

c3574680-946c-4c1b-860b-0e97942f421dEach issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Free link to this month’s podcast: India Unleashed at SoundCloud.

For nearly twenty years the world has watched the command economy of China sprint through a massive industrial revolution while India, a fractious democracy, has largely stagnated. The landslide victory of the pro-growth BJP Party in last month’s elections, however, signals the most important new direction for India in over half a century. Consider that India has 90% of the population of China, but only 20% of the energy consumption, and the scope of the growth potential becomes more clear. This month, we consider two energy scenarios for a broadly growing India. One path leads to an All of the Above strategy, with India increasing energy inputs from all sources. The other emphasizes renewables, enough so to kick the trajectory of global wind and solar power to even higher levels of growth. Regardless of which path India takes, the potential new call on energy resources is roughly equal to the 400M Indians currently unserved by any energy at all: a veritable new country arriving on the world stage. The direction India takes will become, in effect, the energy path of the world.

A newly ascending India is going to have its greatest impact on coal, natural gas, wind and solar. The All of the Above scenario would rely heavily on coal; with natural gas, wind and solar filling in the gaps. Should India take this path the Second Age of Coal will last long after the year 2025. The other direction, the Strong Wind+Solar path, leads more forcefully towards natural gas, wind, and solar. Indeed, using natural gas as a growth anchor, (and yes, increased oil use as part of a broader economic expansion) India could restrain its own coal growth to just a 10% total increase to 2025. In such a scenario the new global call on coal is light, while the call on natural gas and renewables is enormous. Our task is to ultimately project how these two very different directions would impact the global energy mix.

Also in this month’s issue:

Portfolio Update: The TerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, which began April 1, 2013, is up +9.28% since inception. Cash levels remain elevated after selling down positions this Spring. We will continue to use the summer months to add back exposure.  Accordingly, we will make two changes to the model portfolio as of the New York close, on Monday June 2, 2014. 

Data Brief:

In 2008, the Non-OECD passed two historic milestones. As of that year, more than 50% of Non-OECD persons became city-dwellers. And in the same year, the five billion people in the Non-OECD for the first time consumed slightly more than 50% of total world energy. We have been anticipating therefore the next crossover point: when Non-OECD demand for oil would also outdistance OECD demand. While data on crude oil alone is hard to come by, according to the EIA, this crossover point occurred this April, when the Non-OECD consumed more oil, natural gas liquids, and other petroleum products, than the OECD. Alas, we cross another threshold.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – India Unleashed – June 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

Here Comes Oil: May Issue of TerraJoule.us

Slide1Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, the Model Portfolio, the Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

While oil prices are overdue for a typical Springtime pullback, the May issue of TerraJoule.us addresses the more important point that oil is finally ready to reprice. The next advance higher will not be as dramatic as the last, which took oil out of its long, historic level below $25 a barrel and delivered us to today’s $100 level. No, this next repricing will instead be smaller in percentage terms and less volatile. That said, a move to a world of $150 oil by the year 2020 will share many of the same characteristics as the pricing which began a decade ago. The repricing should begin later this year.

OPEC spare capacity, as we have discussed previously, is not expected to improve at all in 2014. Plodding along at the low level of 2 mbpd, this means the global oil market is, definitionally speaking, tight. Meanwhile, as you are probably aware, the global supermajors have thrown in the towel on their failed attempt to extract further volumes of oil by investing enormous capital each year. We are left to wonder: from what region, from what company, from what country will fresh oil supply emerge to satisfy our call for an uptick in global demand?…Without the new, post-2008 production from the United States, the world would be muddling along at the exact same production ceiling which first appeared way, way back in 2004. Remember, only one country came to the rescue of world oil supply coming out of the circa 2000 recession, and that was Russia which poured out over 3 mbpd of new supply to world markets. That heroic supply addition kept the oil futures market in a calm state until 2005, when Russia’s supply growth finally faltered. The analogy should not be lost on us, now. For today it’s the US which is the lone contributor to global oil supply growth, thus allaying fears in the futures market and helping to keep prices restrained. The call from TerraJoule.us is that period of calm is about to end.

The TerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, which began April 1, 2013, is up +10.34% since inception, and after raising cash levels to 37% last month, is ready to start accumulating positions again, as we move through summer. Accordingly, we will make changes to the model portfolio in May.

The TerraJoule.us model portfolio is cash heavy coming into the beginning of May. Last month, we reduced the position in JXI, and closed out the positions in IXC and PXJ. We did so in anticipation not only of typical Spring weakness in Oil and Gas, but the growing concern that the supermajors (IXC) have fully entered decline, and therefore,  the growing prospect that they will spend much less on services (PXJ). This selling and trimming brought cash levels to 37% of the portfolio’s mix. Interestingly, however, energy was the one sector to escape broad equity market declines in April. We retained our position in XOP (independent oil) which had an excellent month, gaining nearly 8%.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – Here Comes Oil – May 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

The Energy Transition Portfolio: April Issue of TerraJoule.us

Slide1Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, a Model Portfolio, a Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

This month’s issue concentrates on the model portfolio, published and updated once a month in every issue, and which has just completed its first year. This is an all ETF portfolio, and employs an allocation strategy, concentrating in the energy sector. While it’s satisfying to see the portfolio up +11%, in this month’s issue we take a look at the next ten years, and how the portfolio might change were it to run to the year 2025. In other words, what if the model portfolio were to become a longer running, Energy Transition Portfolio? (We also look at two companies within selected ETFs, Quanta Services and Solar City).

One of the biggest surprises of the past five years has been the ability of renewables—especially solar—to successfully exploit the domain of sluggish, meandering global growth. To understand how this can be is to understand the unique conditions particular to our current energy transition: we live in a time of low interest rates, and, high overall prices for energy from all sources. These twin realities have come together and they’ve produced counterintuitive results. Global demand for energy is growing again, but, almost entirely through the powergrid. Moreover, the bulk of economic activity we detect in global GDP is also transitional, in nature. At TerraJoule.us, we advocate a thesis of energy transition as a rather unique phase in capitalist history. With cherished beliefs upended, the question remains: how can investors locate discrete pockets of high growth during this time, and for the next decade? This month, we consider the likelihood that the TerraJoule.us model portfolio combines the correct themes and timelines, as energy transition enters its second decade, and its likely resolution by the year 2025.

TheTerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, which began April 1, 2013, is also anticipating the coming shoulder season in the energy complex. Accordingly, we will make significant changes to the model portfolio this month.

Following the concept of the portfolio’s two, separate timelines, we have now completed our work in the first year to construct the portfolio’s rough outline. Now comes the more typical Springtime seasonality when oil and natural gas prices tend to weaken. Readers are aware of course that natural gas prices have already weakened greatly. That’s not a surprise. TerraJoule.us over the Winter was, and has remained, adamant that those short-lived price spikes were 1. not sustainable, and 2. not the sign of the next repricing cycle. 

That said, notice that the TerraJoule.us model portfolio is now adding the FCG: First Trust ISERevere Natural Gas Index ETF to the list of investible ETFs. We will not take a position in that ETF just yet, and will likely wait until either 1. a major correction in stocks gets underway or 2. we are closer to 2015. But given the view that natural gas, through the globalized LNG market unfolding later this decade, is due to become a major input to global powergrid growth, it’s inevitable the portfolio will need a direct position in natural gas.

“TerraJoule.us eBook – The Energy Transition Portfolio – April 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

Energy and GDP: March Issue of TerraJoule.us

Slide1Each issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, a Model Portfolio, a Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

Listen now to this month’s podcast for free, at SoundCloud: Energy and GDP: March 2014.

The theme of this month’s publication, Energy and GDP, is that followers of the energy sector have probably been offered at least once or twice the idea that modern, industrial economies will eventually de-couple from natural resource inputs, and begin to fund growth using a declining quantity of energy. While it’s certainly true that industrial economies can become more efficient (in fact that’s a story that’s been taking place for decades) the dream of de-coupling remains a thesis without evidence. In this month’s issue we take a look at three economies, the US, Japan, and California to probe more deeply into this question:

The reason we are going into some length and detail here is that Japan is the proxy for the expected value that all industrial economies will eventually achieve. That will take time, admittedly, and the rest of populated Asia may not reach its expected value until mid-century. What seems likely is that Japan is on its way to becoming the first post-industrial economy, and is fated to decline in industrial terms, in population, and in wealth from now on. Even the most heroic buildout of solar and wind power, which we very much expect Japan to undertake, will only put a brake on Japan’s long and gentle decline. Yes, there is always some uncertainty in such a forecast: breakthrough technology in nuclear power could occur sometime in the next decade or two. But aside from the above-trend growth we are forecasting globally, from 2015-2020 as energy transition begins to resolve, it is unlikely that Japan will be able to capture much of that cycle. Let us recall that at least 2-4 significant global growth cycles have already passed Japan by, in the last 20 years. Japan is even less likely, now, to “de-couple” from a world of expensive energy and start a new phase of secular growth.

TheTerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, which began April 1, 2013, is also anticipating the coming shoulder season in the energy complex, and is looking to secure a strong first year performance as we head into April and May.

After 11 months, the model portfolio is currently up a little over 11%, and as we head towards the portfolio’s first year mark in April, it does seem likely that the first sales will take place this Spring. The oil and gas complex is set up right here to experience a classic shoulder season. In other words, natural gas and oil prices and especially oil and gas equities have been very strong, right as we are about to roll into Spring. Indeed, natural gas in the past five trading days has given us a preview of what’s likely to unfold as we head towards the month of May. Overall, the performance of the model portfolio has been excellent in the first year, with just about the best mix of exposure to fossil fuels, the powergrid, and renewables.

To purchase a single issue through Ganxy.com, please follow the link below:

“TerraJoule.us eBook – Energy and GDP – March 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

When Cities Drive Energy Transition: February Issue of TerraJoule.us

Front Title Page IMAGEEach issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, a Model Portfolio, a Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook  Annual Subscription.

The theme of this month’s publication, When Cities Drive Energy Transition, is that we’ve reached the point in energy transition when cities are about to take over, as the world economy shifts its weight from liquid fossil fuels to electrical power. This is not the end of oil as a key input to many industrial processes by any means. Indeed, you are encouraged to read the September 2013 issue, Road Map to the Next Repricing of Oil, to understand better why oil will reprice higher. That said, we are indeed passing beyond the oil age, which turns out to have been a brief, 70 year period when oil was the primary energy source for the world:

There were a number of promised changes to developed world oil demand, touted just five years ago, that frankly seemed wishful and unimportant at the time. They included increased MPG in existing cars and trucks, the onset of electric vehicles, the transition to NG powered engines, the resurrection of public transport, growth in renewables, and migration of workers back to the urban core. These factors have banded together now, however, and collectively have shown up five years later as a serious, serious impediment to oil demand growth, especially in the United States. No, sales of Teslas alone have not shifted the trajectory of US oil demand growth. But as the marquis EV, Tesla is a proxy for the amazing set of new conditions now blunting the US economy’s return to oil-based consumerism. As the economy stabilizes, the US populace finds it can take a train on a restored commuter line in Boston; Bus Rapid Transit in Los Angeles; a streetcar in Charlotte; or new bikeways in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, a surge of solar power capacity along with already cheap electricity rates is restoring economic competitiveness to many American cities, as the US economy tilts from consumer-importer to producer exporter. Is it any wonder that California gasoline sales, therefore, have never recovered from the crash?

There are also changes to the TerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, which began April 1, 2013:

Renewable exposure now moves to 15% of the portfolio, as fossil fuel exposure remains stable at 45% and powergrid exposure at 25%. We make further investment in renewable exposure this month.

To purchase a single issue through Ganxy.com, please follow the link below:

“TerraJoule.us eBook – When Cities Drive Energy Transition – February 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy

Energy and the Economy in 2014: January Issue of TerraJoule.us

Front Title Page IMAGEEach issue of TerraJoule.us contains: a Main Essay, a Model Portfolio, a Data Brief, and a link to a Downloadable Podcast. Gregor Macdonald, Editor.

Readers may purchase each issue individually, through Ganxy.com: Purchase.

Or, readers may also take a 12 month subscription through Gumroad.com: TerraJoule.us Monthly eBook – Annual Subscription.

For the month of January only, all annual subscribers will receive a single PDF of every issue published in 2013, for free.

The theme of this month’s publication, Energy and the Economy in 2014, is that oil will finally reprice a second time, a full decade after its first repricing. This process will begin quietly later in the year. We also take a look a the prospects for repricings in coal and natural gas, and the boost to the economy that will start to flow from the extraordinary growth in renewables:

No single fact better illustrates the energy predicament the global economy continues to face, than the strangely immovable price of oil, which has just recorded a third straight year at a stable price just below $100 a barrel. Who would have guessed that a tumultuous, historic energy transition would quiet down, eventually, into a groove of such seeming stability. But is this stability, or constraint? As we peer into the uncertainty of the year ahead, and the pricing changes which lay in store for each of the primary energy sources, from natural gas, to coal, to oil, we must take account of this question. How exactly to describe this constraint? Easy. The global economy remains on a leash, and at best, is able to formulate a kind of sideways-moving advance, in which net, new economic output is mostly offset by a rearranging of the existing pieces of our current system. At TerraJoule.us, however, we endeavor to remain alert, as this temporary equilibrium will surely come to an end. What follows, therefore, is a review and outlook of energy and the economy in the year ahead. In short, 2014 will proceed rather quietly until later this year, when the very big changes coming in 2015 are finally signaled.

There are also changes to the TerraJoule.us Model Portfolio, which began April 1, 2013:

Taken together, pure fossil fuel investments in the model portfolio now amount to 45% of its composition….Powergrid exposure accounts for another 25%. This suggests further investment should direct itself mainly to renewable energy, and in particular solar.

To purchase a single issue through Ganxy.com, please follow the link below:

“TerraJoule.us January 2014″ by Gregor Macdonald – Editor on Ganxy