Effects of 2000s energy crisis

Effects of 2000s energy crisis

There is debate over what the effects of the 2000s energy crisis will be over the long term. Some speculate that an oil-price spike could create a recession comparable to those that followed the 1973 and 1979 energy crises or a potentially worse situation such as a global oil crash. Increased petroleum prices are however reflected in a vast number of products derived from petroleum, as well as those transported using petroleum fuels. [ [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-oilQ&A_15bus.ART.State.Edition1.4dc8e7b.html Gas costs are reflected in nearly everything you buy | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News ] ]

Political scientist George Friedman has postulated that if high prices for oil and food persist, they will define the fourth distinct geopolitical regime since the end of World War II, the previous three being the Cold War, the 1989-2001 period in which economic globalization was primary, and the post-9/11 war on terror. [cite web
title=The geopolitics of $130 oil

Inflation and recession

The perceived increase in oil price differs internationally according to currency market fluctuations and purchasing power of currencies. For example, excluding changes in relative purchasing power of various currencies, from 2002-01-01 to 2008-01-01: [To see table and sources : ]
* In US$, oil price rose from $20.37 to nearly $100, about "4.91" times more expensive;
* In the same period, the Taiwanese dollar gained value over the U.S. dollar to make oil in Taiwan "4.53" times more expensive;
* In the same period, the Japanese Yen gained value over the U.S. dollar to make oil in Japan "4.10" times more expensive;
* In the same period, the Euro gained value over the U.S. dollar to make oil in the Eurozone 2.94 times more expensive.

On average, oil price has increased approximately 400% for these areas. As a result of the dramatic price increase there have been global protests. [ [http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2008/05/13/high_gasoline_prices_spawning_songs_signs_symbolic_acts/ High gasoline prices spawning songs, signs, symbolic acts - Boston.com ] ] [ [http://www.principalsforchange.org/ Principals For Change] ] Rising transport costs may start to reverse globalization, due to the fact that distance will cost more and more money. As oil prices keep rising, transport costs could cancel out lower wage advantages, such as in East Asia.http://research.cibcwm.com/economic_public/download/smay08.pdf]

United States

It is easiest to gauge the effects of oil prices in the United States, where comparison of oil prices to average income are simplified. One of the most closely watched measures is the price of gas, [ [http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2008-06-29-home-heating_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip Northeast braces for home heating oil increases] , USATODAY.com] but the average United States consumer's basket of goods contains many other petroleum products as well.

Despite the rapid increase in the price of oil, neither the stock markets nor the growth of the global economy were noticeably affected until supply declined rapidly starting in November 2007. Arguably, inflation has increased; in the United States, inflation averaged 3.3% in 2005–2006, as compared to an average of 2.5% in the preceding 10-year period. [ [http://www.miseryindex.us/iRbyyear.asp?StartYear=1995&EndYear=2006 The United States Inflation Rate By Year ] ] As a result, during this period the Federal Reserve has consistently increased interest rates to curb inflation.

Exactly how much trade, transport costs divert from China (or for that matter anywhere else) depend ultimately on how important those costs are in total costs. Goods that have a high value to freight ratio carry implicitly small transport costs, while goods with low value to freight ratios typically carry significant moving costs. A high percentage of Chinese exports to the U.S. fall in the latter category. Furniture, apparel, footwear, metal manufacturing, and industrial machinery—all typical Chinese exports, incur relatively high transport costs.

Soaring costs are squeezing gas station owners too. [ [http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gas10-2008jun10,0,6281075,full.story Gas station owners getting slammed too - Los Angeles Times ] ]

In 2008, a report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates stated that 2007 had been the year of peak gasoline usage in the United States, and that record energy levels would cause an "enduring shift" in energy consumption practices. [cite news
title=Prices Curtail U.S. Gasoline Use
publisher=Wall Street Journal
date=June 20, 2008
author=Ana Campoy
] According to the report, in April gas consumption had been lower than a year before for the sixth straight month, suggesting 2008 would be the first year U.S. gasoline usage declined in 17 years. The total miles driven in the U.S. began declining in 2006. [cite news
title=Driving Less, Americans Finally React to Sting of Gas Prices, a Study Says
publisher=New York Times
date=June 19, 2008
author=Clifford Krauss

United States and GDP

In the United States, for instance, each 1000 dollars in GDP required 2.4 barrels of oil in 1973 when adjusted for inflation, while this number had fallen to 1.15 by 2001. [http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mer/pdf/pages/sec1_16.pdf] For calendar 1981, United States oil consumption was convert|5861058000|oilbbl|km3|abbr=on [ [http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/hist/mttupus1A.htm U.S. Total Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Product Supplied (Thousand Barrels) ] ] and GDP was $5,291.7 billion [ [http://bea.gov/national/xls/gdplev.xls] ] (chain-volume 2000 dollars), a ratio of $902.86/bbl.

In 2005, consumption was convert|7592789000|oilbbl|km3|abbr=on and GDP was $10,989.5 billion, a ratio of $1,447.36/bbl.

In 2006, consumption was convert|7550908000|oilbbl|km3|abbr=on and GDP was $11,294.8 billion, a ratio of $1495.82/bbl.

In 2007, consumption was convert|7548338000|oilbbl|km3|abbr=on and GDP was $11,523.9 billion, a ratio of $1526.68/bbl.

Many of the energy intensive industrial and manufacturing activities present in the 1970s U.S. moved out of the country during a period of outsourcing. Manufacturing as a portion of U.S. GDP has declined considerably since 1973. [ [http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/briefingpapers_bp149 Shifting blame for manufacturing job loss: Effect of rising trade deficit shouldn't be ignored ] ] While the United States no longer makes as many goods and therefor does not expend as much energy to do so higher energy prices are still impacting the cost to manufacture these goods overseas. The increased cost impacts the U.S. GDP via the trade deficit. The size of this impact is difficult to estimate though the total energy/GDP effect should be commensurate with the 1970s value compensated by any efficiency gains from the outsourcing itself and the increased transportation costs.

United States stock market

The increase in oil prices over two years was mirrored by an increase in stock values in the energy sector. Energy ETFs like XLE (an overall energy sector fund) and OIH (an oil service industry fund) did well during the period, with XLE's price increasing from $26 (2004-01-01) to $54 (2006-03-02), and OIH's price increasing from $60 (2004-01-01) to $143 (2006-03-02).

The value of the stock in companies such as Apache [ [http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=APA&t=2y APA: Basic Chart for APACHE CP - Yahoo! Finance ] ] and Conoco-Phillips [ [http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=2y&l=on&z=m&q=l&p=&a=&c=&s=cop COP: Basic Chart for CONOCOPHILLIPS - Yahoo! Finance ] ] rose sharply during this period. These prices increased more rapidly toward the end of August, particularly after Hurricane Katrina. [ [http://www.gao.gov/htext/d051047t.html GAO-05-1047T, Energy Markets: Gasoline Price Trends ] ]

Wal-Mart shares continued their decrease in value that began with the increase in the oil prices. Over two years, stock in Wal-Mart dropped in value by 25% from $60 per share to under $45 per share. [ [http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=WMT&t=2y WMT: Basic Chart for WAL MART STORES - Yahoo! Finance ] ] Earlier in August, Wal-Mart announced that higher than expected oil prices cut into the corporation's profits for the 2nd quarter of 2005. Since oil prices after the end of the 2nd quarter continued to rise, 3rd quarter profits from Wal-Mart are expected to be small. Because Wal-Mart's distribution system relies on the customer to drive to a large discount big-box store, increases in the price of fuel might discourage some customers from making the trip as often. Wal-Mart, like all retailers, will also face higher shipping costs to get goods from the factory to the stores. This will likely cause inflationary pressures. Nevertheless, Wal-Mart's sales actually increased as a result as disposable income decreased due to the increased price of gasoline because of its economic role as an inferior good.


In the developed countries of Western and Central Europe, the prices of transport fuels are made up of the price of the refined product, plus a substantial tax element, which can vary between roughly 2/3 and 3/4 of the total price. (in the UK nearly 70% of the price of a litre of petrol is made up of fuel duty and VAT. A doubling of the oil price would add perhaps 30% to the cost of fuel at the pump in the UK, if the duty was not changed.) These taxes are not harmonised, nor are different countries' budgets updated at the same time. As a consequence, people who live nearby will often find it worthwhile to drive over the border to fill up, despite the hassle and traffic congestion this causes. However, in general, by having a large tax fraction, governments have the benefit of some room for manoeuvre, to smooth sudden price shocks by relaxing and then slowly ramping back the fuel duties, and the population has lifestyles that are already well adapted to fuel prices that would appear very high to consumers in the USA (where the tax fraction is less than 20%). These two effects conspire to make European demand largely independent of the crude oil price, at least over short periods of a few years.

Asia Pacific region

The Pacific rim had been experiencing oil shortages on an ongoing basis prior to Hurricane Katrina. Some countries are increasing production of biofuels to offset the higher costs of oil.Fact|date=January 2008

In July 2008, Malaysia experienced protests against high fuel prices. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/world/malaysians-turn-out-in-thousands-to-defy-police-20080706-32mu.html Malaysians turn out in thousands to defy police (07-07-2008)] ]

In Indonesia, fuel subsidies grew to encompass "almost one third of the state budget". [ [http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/07/07/editorial-sby-still-doesn039t-get-it.html Editorial: SBY still doesn't get it (07-07-2008)] ]

On July 15 2008, Japanese fishermen for the first time began a protest strike over the high cost of boat fuel (which had tripled over a three year period). The high fuel costs have been compounded by higher domestic meat consumption, lower priced foreign competitors, and the cumulative effects of overfishing. During the strike around virtually the entire Japanese fishing fleet of 200,000 boats sat idle. This follows strikes by truck and taxi drivers, as well as other fishermen, in Asia, Europe and the U.S. [ [http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2008/07/200871545139795255.html Japan fishermen strike over fuel] . Al Jazeera English. July 15, 2008.] Between 2006 and 2008, the number of fishermen in Japan dropped by as much as 20% and the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries projects this number to grow. Fact|date=July 2008

Developing countries

High oil prices are likely to first affect less affluent countries, particularly the developing world, with less discretionary income. There are fewer vehicles per capita, and oil is often used for electricity generation, as well as private transport. The World Bank has looked more deeply at the effect of oil prices in the developing countries.An analysis finds that in South Africa a 125 percent increase in the price of crude oil and refined petroleum reduces employment and GDP by approximately 2 percent, and reduces household consumption by approximately 7 percent, affecting mainly the poor. [ [http://econ.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64165259&theSitePK=469382&piPK=64165421&menuPK=64166093&entityID=000158349_20070918095351] World bBank, Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 4354: Economy-wide and distributional impacts of an oil price shock on the south African economy (2007/09/18)]

ub-Saharan Africa

High oil prices are hurting many countries in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Tanzania. High oil prices have created an oil supply instability, per barrel price instability or both. There are reports that this has led to fuel rationing being enacted in some cases. [ [http://www.energybulletin.net/32909.html What about the poor? | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse ] ] Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa lack the foreign exchange reserves to purchase enough oil products at increasingly higher prices. These nations have little choice but to limit imports and/or ration their existing supplies.

Latin America and Caribbean

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chávez, came under increasing scrutiny as he began selling heating oil at lower-than-market prices to poor U.S. consumers and to island nations in the Caribbean such as Cuba. [ [http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1125611420336&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795 TheStar.com - Page Not Found ] ] Dead link|date=January 2008

Persian Gulf States and Eurasian Arab-Islamic regions

Some stock markets in the GCC, notably in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, experienced a boom, roughly 100% index increase in the Saudi stock market. [ [http://www.tadawul.com.sa/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_49S?chart_tasi_timeframe=1+YEAR&current_page=%2Ftasi%2Fjsp%2Findeces_detail.&chart_tasi_current_sector=TASI&TASIactionString=chart_tasi.form.config_change&s8fid=2114543112712 (السوق المالية السعودية (تداول - Navigation Root ] ] However, this boom was followed by a market crash. A number of planned projects to stir development, such as King Abdullah Economic City, have been proposed due to $29.3 billion surplus. [ [http://www.recexpo.com/recweb/News_show_news.asp?id=1521 REC ] ] On May 1, 2006 Saudi Arabia lowered prices on all hydrocarbon fuels for local consumption; 95 octane gasoline costs .606 USD/gallon (fixed price). [ cite web | url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-j-learsy/saudi-arabias-oil-sover_b_38677.html | title=Saudi Arabia's Oil? Sovereign Responsibility Trumps Sovereign Rights! | date=January 15 2007]

An EIA report stated that OPEC member nations were projected to earn a net amount of $1.251 trillion in 2008 from their oil exports, due to the record crude prices. [ [http://in.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINIndia-34433820080708 OPEC to earn $1.251 trillion from oil exports - EIA] , Reuters]


Ground transport

Prior to the runup in fuel prices, many motorists opted for larger, less fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles and full-size vehicles in the United States, Canada and other countries where fuel taxes have historically been low. This trend began reversing in 2008 due to rising prices of fuel along with an increasing perception that future fuel prices will be at least as high. At the same time, appraisal and depreciation rates for SUVs, trucks, and vans have increased 30% and current SUV, truck, and van owners who cannot liquidate their gas-guzzlers because of low resale values are donating their vehicles for tax credits; this trend occurred during the 1973 oil crisis where musclecars and luxury cars faced the same predicament.

The September 2005 sales data for all the vehicle vendors indicated SUV sales dropped while small cars sales increased compared with 2004 sales. There is also an ever increasing market for hybrid vehicles (e.g., Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid) and diesel engine vehicles (e.g., Volkswagen TDI and Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI) since they are more fuel efficient; since the 1973 energy crisis, the front-wheel drive passenger car has replaced rear-wheel drive as the preferred layout for energy efficient cars. There is increasing demand of "crossover SUVs" (i.e., SUVs based on unibody platforms) which are marginally lighter and therefore more fuel efficient than SUVs built on body-on-frame chassis.

The Union Pacific Railroad has had to address with its rising fuel bill, which has reached the point of becoming its single biggest operating expense. [http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=1208&u_sid=10360571 . See also railway electrification system] Airlines and oveseas shipping companies are also struggling to contain costs as their energy expense soar.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that in mid-2008, rising fuel prices motivated an increasing number of drivers to adopt fuel economy maximizing behaviors.cite web
title=As oil spikes, our behaviour changes
publisher=Toronto Star

In July 2008, millions of Indian truck drivers joined a series of protests in Asia and Europe after crude oil's record run forced governments and fuel retailers to cut subsidies and raise prices. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7484671.stm India truckers strike over fuel] , BBC News] [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/world/asia/14korea.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&oref=slogin South Korean Truckers Strike to Protest Rising Fuel Costs] , NYTimes.com] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7443257.stm Spanish hauliers on fuel strike] , BBC News]

Air travel

Although Peak oil theorists such as David Goodstein, Richard Heinberg, and others, had for years predicted sharp declines in air travel following the peaking of world oil production and its subsequent decline,cite book
last = Heinberg
first = Richard
authorlink = Richard Heinberg
title =
publisher = New Society Publishers
year = 2003
doi =
isbn = 0-86571-482-7
] air travel enjoyed robust growth around much of the world spurred by low jet fuel costs starting in the mid-1980s. For example, air travel in the United States grew five times faster than population in the decades after 1978, with 769 million passengers boarding U.S. airline flights in 2007.cite web
title=Rising costs reshaping air travel across the USA
publisher=USA Today
] However, the run-up in oil prices after 2003 began eroding airline profits, and the further doubling of oil prices from May 2007 to May 2008 began to have a substantial impact on airline operations, forcing airlines to reduce flight schedules, and pushing weaker carriers into merger or bankruptcy.cite web
title=Fliers in for pain as airlines pack it in
publisher=USA Today
coauthors=De Lollis, Barbara, and Hansen, Barbara
] cite web
title=The Peak Oil Crisis: The Half-Life For Air Travel
] During the first half of 2008, at least tweinty-five airlines world-wide entered bankruptcy or were forced to cease operations. [ [http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Business/Story/A1Story20080708-75407.html More airlines fold as fuel prices soar: IATA ] ]

April 2008 began with four small airlines (Aloha Airlines, Champion Air, ATA Airlines and Skybus Airlines) ceasing operations in a period of a week.Fact|date=July 2008 A fifth airline, Oasis Hong Kong Airlines ceased operations on April 9, 2008 [http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSHKG17584020080409?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0] . A sixth airline, Frontier Airlines filed for bankruptcy on April 11, 2008 to protect itself from its credit card processing company which was withholding airline ticket revenues. Frontier continues to operate under Chapter 11 and is working to get a new agreement with said company.Fact|date=July 2008 Eos Airlines, a small specialty carrier with high costs, ceased operations on April 27, 2008.Fact|date=July 2008 An eighth airline Nationwide Airlines ceased operations on April 29, 2008, due to the "impossibility" of profitably operating the Boeing 737-200 with oil prices of over $133 a barrel.Fact|date=July 2008 The 737-200 is a 30 year old aircraft that is 30% less fuel efficient than new production 737's.Fact|date=July 2008 On May 9, 2008, a ninth airline, EuroManx announced that it was ceasing all operations, citing rising fuel prices and reduced passenger numbers as the reasons [http://www.euromanx.com/news.php] .

A 5% U.S. domestic capacity cut (since raised to around 15%) may be expanded to all airlines to save on fuel by eliminating older aircraft from their fleets similar to the exchange that took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s.Fact|date=July 2008huh? Although a slightly larger cut happened in the aftermath of 9/11 (20%), this is the first time since the 1970s that airline service has been cut to save on fuel for the United States.Fact|date=July 2008 Other airlines such as Ryanair and Scandinavian Airlines System have also cut capacity.Fact|date=July 2008


Recent changes in transportation have led to increased sensitivity to higher energy prices. Most notable of these changes is the massive trend towards containerization that effectively makes shipping costs more vulnerable to swings in fuel costs. Container ships can be unloaded much faster than break cargos so they spend much more time at sea than in ports.

Another factor is speed. The shift to container ships has increased the importance of ship speed. Over the past two decades, container ships were built to go faster than bulk ships and since container ships were steadily gaining share, the world’s fleet speed picked up. But greater speed requires greater energy, as it does in all other modes of transport. In global shipping, the increase in ship speed over the last fifteen years has doubled fuel consumption per unit of freight. Accordingly, in 2008 some shipping companies responded to higher fuel costs by slowing down their ships,cite web
title=Ships turn to sails, lower speeds to cut fuel use
publisher=ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
] while companies such as SkySails began prototyping large towing kites to harness wind power, partly offsetting some engine power for propulsion.

The cost of shipping a standard convert|40|ft|m|sing=on container from East Asia to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard has already tripled since 2000 and will double again as oil prices head towards $200 per barrel. At 2008 oil prices, every 10% increase in trip distance translates into a 4.5% increase in transport costs.

Including inland costs, shipping a standard convert|40|ft|m|sing=on container from Shanghai to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard now costs $8,000. In 2000, when oil prices were $20 per barrel, it cost only $3,000 to ship the same container. Trans-oceanic transport costs also exploded during the two historic OPEC oil price shock. The costof shipping a standard cargo load overseas almost tripled, just as it did over the past few years.

Food security

Since the 1940s, agriculture has dramatically increased its productivity, due largely to the use of petrochemical derived pesticides, fertilizers, and increased mechanization (the so-called Green Revolution). During this time, the world population has more than doubled. Between 1950 and 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, world grain production increased by 250%. [http://www.energybulletin.net/281.html, Eating Fossil Fuels. EnergyBulletin.net] [ [http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=2eeece50-285f-4c4b-bb37-2d053d04d4e8&p=1 Civilization's golden era is teetering on collapse] , The Vancouver Sun]

By late 2007, increased farming for use in biofuels, [ [http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2104849.0.2008_the_year_of_global_food_crisis.php 2008: The year of global food crisis] ] world oil prices at nearly $100 a barrel [ [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1717572,00.html The World's Growing Food-Price Crisis] ] and growing consumer demand in China and India [ [http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0118/p08s01-comv.html The global grain bubble] ] pushed up the price of grain. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7284196.stm The cost of food: Facts and figures] ] occurred in many countries across the world in 2007 and 2008. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/04/china.business Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs soaring] ] [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3500975.ece Already we have riots, hoarding, panic: the sign of things to come?] ] [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/26/food.unitednations Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits] ] In December 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls. Geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer claims that the coming decades could see spiraling food prices and massive starvation on a global level such as never experienced before. [ [http://globalpublicmedia.com/transcripts/455 A Conversation with geologist Dale Alan Pfeiffer; Part 2 transcript] ] [ [http://www.soilassociation.org/peakoil Peak Oil: the threat to our food security] ]

ee also

*2003 to 2008 world oil market chronology


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