New oils are emerging in the United States and worldwide. The degree to which global oils differ from one another is increasing, from carbon-laden oils that resist flow to ultra-light petroleum liquids trapped in tight shale oil. Developing these unconventional oils requires a clear departure from business-as-usual practices. The Carnegie Oil Initiative provides expert analysis, strategic guidance, and policy frameworks to manage new oil assets while protecting the climate.
Carnegie’s work to understand emerging new oils has been ongoing since our seminal publication, Understanding Unconventional Oil, in 2012. All publications from this project are archived here.
The White House convened a summit of policymakers and U.S. businesses committing to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions and supporting climate action at the Paris climate negotiations in December.
Recent oil market shifts spell bad news for a number of countries with economies based on oil.
Renewable energies are displacing natural gas and coal, but they are not yet displacing oil at scale. Whereas wind and solar power the electric grid, oil powers transport. Until the day that alternative fuels dominate not only the roads, but also the skies and seas of the world, we will not be able to wean off oil completely.
The political and economic dysfunction known as the “oil curse” is a complex, structural phenomenon, caused largely by poor management or investment of oil revenues by the governments of oil-producing countries.
Three pillars underpin the machinations in tomorrow’s global oil markets: economics, geopolitics, and the environment.
Beijing should approach its energy-centered partnership with Moscow in Central Asia with a degree of caution.