Today’s Pickup: shale oil growth to turn negative if rig count continues its decline

 Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

Good day, 

Shale oil growth in the U.S. might have hit an inflection point, with the rig count having stagnated since mid-2018, and zig-zagging down since it hit a peak last November. Though it is common to witness volatility in rig counts based on global oil demand and the price movement, the meltdown in rig count has been gradual across many months, possibly signifying a plateau.  

The last week figures of the total U.S. oil rigs stand at 853, down by 35 since last November. Nonetheless, production has kept increasing steadily, but with the reduction in oil rig count, this trend might not hold up for long. “We estimate that the year on year change in US oil drilling will, for the first time since 2016, turn negative by late May, should the current trend of gentle declines continue,” Standard Chartered analysts led by Paul Horsnell wrote in a note.

Did you know?

Prices of renewable hydrogen systems fell by approximately 4.77 percent from 2013 to 2016. That’s because as the cost of wind turbines and electrolyzers fell annually, the capacity factor of wind turbines also increased annually (so a single turbine produces more electricity).


“Electronics appliances were impacted in the fourth quarter. At this point it’s tough to tell, but we are cautiously optimistic for the second half of this year.”

– Sydney Huang, CFO of Chinese e-commerce major, said in the company’s quarterly earnings call

In other news:

What the world needs now? Spotify for sustainable supply chains

The Supply Chain Solutions Center, in partnership with over 10 leading environmental NGOs, puts resources and expert advice at the fingertips of supply chain professionals.  (Forbes)

The race to become the all-in-one transport app

As new transportation options like bike and scooter rental services proliferate, ride-hailing companies are rushing to outfit their mobile apps with as many services as possible, including public transit. (Axios)

Hyundai is building a dedicated platform for a future EV fleet

The company plans to introduce 44 electric cars by 2025. (Engadget)

Apple self-driving car layoffs give hints to division’s direction

Apple said on Wednesday that it planned to lay off 190 employees in its self-driving car program, Project Titan. (Reuters)

Russian Ministry of Transport to pilot IBM-Maersk blockchain platform

The blockchain-based system was developed by Maersk and IBM, with more than 90 companies and departments across the world having already connected to it. (Cointelegraph)

Final thoughts:

European research community, rail companies, and regulators are coming together to establish some ground rules with regard to hyperloop projects that have gained steam in Europe. The idea is to establish common standards for fitting vacuum tubes into existing long-distance European rail networks before hyperloop companies and different countries get to have a say in it. This is important because even with conventional railway lines, countries across Europe adopt different regulations – for instance, Spain and France have different rail widths, voltage standards, and operating rules within their railway systems.

“Nobody thought that the countries that would form the European Union would connect their rail networks in the future,” said David Villalmanzo of the International Union of Railways. “So hyperloop startups should be thinking about that now, by way of some European framework, to discuss pre-standardization of some technical things.”

But then again, such regulations could hamper the growth of the hyperloop technology as it is primarily taken forward by startups, that do not have the patience to wait for regulations to be framed, which could take a while. Local initiatives for hyperloop across Europe is already underway, with one in Toulouse, France and one connecting the Bratislava-Budapest-Vienna corridor.

Hammer down everyone!

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Vishnu Rajamanickam, Staff Writer

Vishnu writes editorial commentary on cutting-edge technology within the freight industry, profiles startups, and brings in perspective from industry frontrunners and thought leaders in the freight space. In his spare time, he writes neo-noir poetry, blogs about travel & living, and loves to debate about international politics. He hopes to settle down in a village and grow his own food at some point in time. But for now, he is happy to live with his wife in the middle of a German metropolitan.