Empty gas station at night

Et si le pétrole était délaissé à son tour ?

LONDRESUne idée reçue sur le récent plongeon des prix du pétrole consiste à dire que nous assistons à une répétition de l'effondrement de 1985-1986, lorsque l'Arabie saoudite a accéléré sa production dans le cadre d'un différend avec d'autres membres du cartel de l'OPEP. La thèse actuelle est que l'Arabie saoudite agit de la même manière, en réponse à sa perte de part de marché suite à la production de gaz de schiste aux États-Unis.

Mais il y a un autre parallèle qui est encore plus pertinent, avec des conséquences importantes pour le prix du pétrole à long terme. L'effondrement récent fait penser à une forte chute similaire du prix du charbon (d'un bref pic à140 $ la tonne en 2008, à environ 40 $ la tonne actuellement), qui a entraîné le fait que certains gisements soient « financièrement délaissés », ce qui signifie que leurs coûts de développement dépassent leur rendement potentiel.

La baisse est le résultat de politiques environnementales à long terme, notamment des programmes visant à atténuer le changement climatique et donc à réduire la demande en charbon. Les efforts visant à améliorer la qualité de l'air en Chine, les normes d'émissions de carbone et de mercure auxÉtats-Unis, le gaz naturel moins cher et les investissements croissants dans les énergies renouvelables ont fait diminuer la part du charbon sur le marché de l'énergie.

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