Empty gas station at night

Wird Öl zu einem gestrandeten Vermögenswert?

LONDON – Die gängige Meinung hinsichtlich des jüngsten Ölpreisverfalls lautet, dass es sich dabei um eine Neuauflage des Preisabsturzes der Jahre 1985-1986 handelt, als Saudi-Arabien im Rahmen seiner Auseinandersetzung mit anderen Mitgliedern des OPEC-Kartells die Ölförderung steigerte. Diesmal – so die allgemeine Auffassung – handelt Saudi-Arabien gleich und reagiert damit auf seinen Verlust an Marktanteilen aufgrund der Schieferöl-Produktion in den Vereinigten Staaten.

Allerdings besteht eine noch relevantere Parallele – mit bedeutenden Auswirkungen hinsichtlich des langfristigen Ölpreises. Der jüngste Preisverfall erinnert nämlich an eine ähnliche Talfahrt des Kohlepreises – der von einem kurzen Hoch von 140 Dollar pro Tonne im Jahr 2008 auf etwa 40 Dollar pro Tonne heute abstürzte. Das führte dazu, dass manche Lagerstätten „finanziell strandeten“, dass also die Kosten ihrer Entwicklung über den potenziellen Erträgen liegen.

Diese rückläufige Entwicklung war die Folge langfristiger umweltpolitischer Maßnahmen, einschließlich Klimaschutz-Programmen, die die Nachfrage nach Kohle untergruben. Die Bemühungen zur Verbesserung der Luftqualität in China, Kohlenstoff- und Quecksilber-Emissionsstandards in den USA, billigeres Erdgas und steigende Investitionen in erneuerbare Energieträger ließen den Anteil der Kohle am Energiemarkt sinken.

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