Let’s face it: everyone loves a good story.
A good story moves you and challenges you. And if you approach it with the right frame of mind, it might just make you wiser.
Of course, in the ancient world, few people could rival the Greeks for storytelling ability. They were unsurpassed in their capacity for epic tales.
Tales of heroism. Tales of frailty. Tales of consequence.
My personal favourite is the myth of Prometheus:
- Prometheus was the Titan who stole fire from Mount Olympus. Then he gave it to mankind. In doing so, Prometheus not only provided humanity with warmth and light, but he also set stage for our journey towards civilisation and technology.
- Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, was enraged by this. He had selfishly intended to keep fire hidden away from mankind — but Prometheus had foiled this plan.
- So Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock in the Caucasus Mountains. Every day, an eagle would peck at his liver and eat it. However, Prometheus was immortal, so his liver would regrow every night. Then the eagle would return the next day, pecking at it once more, starting the cycle anew. This ensured that his torment would be eternal.
- Ultimately, the myth of Prometheus is a story of defiance and sacrifice; progress and enlightenment.
Now, just as fire sparked the imagination of the ancient world, so too has petroleum sparked the industrial progress of our modern world:
- In the 19th century, John D Rockefeller was the man most responsible for accelerating the Age of Oil. His company, Standard Oil, was a runaway success, turning him into the world’s first billionaire.
- The extraction, refinement, and consumption of petroleum would forever change the roadmap of humanity. It’s safe to say that we have achieved more progress in the last 200 years compared to the previous 4,800.
The impact of the petroleum isn’t without controversy:
- Today, environmental activists are unhappy about the possibility of climate change. So they pushing hard for us to transition away from oil, gas, and coal. They are demanding radical change.
- Nonetheless, S&P Global reveals that fossil fuel still powers around 82% of our global energy supply. This means that renewable sources, despite all the agitation and ideology, still make up only 18%.
- It’s not hard to understand why. Geopolitical analyst Peter Zeihan says, ‘Would you try to fly a kite when there’s no breeze? Or try to surf when there are no waves? If you answered ‘no’ to those questions — CONGRATS — your basic analytical skills are much better than those tasked with the green energy buildout.’
- Therefore, a transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy will not happen overnight. As it stands, it’s impossible for us to cut our dependency on fossil fuel from 80% to 0%. What might be more realistic is embrace a long-term incremental shift — perhaps from 80% to 60%.
- Practically speaking, we need energy security for the present, even while we explore new technologies for the future.
So, for this reason, we are taking a close look at world’s next petroleum superpower:
- This country only has 800,000 people — but it is shaping up to be one of the largest crude producers of oil per capita.
- In 2022, this country’s GDP experienced real growth of 62.3% — the highest in the world. This makes it the fastest-growing economy globally.
- This statistic seems to suggest that in an energy-hungry world, there is still room for sustained oil demand. Could this be a once-in-a-generation opportunity?
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