Similar to the rest of the world, US oil demand has been under pressure as a weak global economy has reduced consumption and increased volumes of substitute products are being harnessed. However, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently forecasted demand at 18.7 million b/d this year and 18.9 million b/d in 2013, yet again making the US the front runner for hydrocarbon demand. Looking further ahead, in their latest Annual Energy Outlook, the EIA expects that after the economy regains its balance, demand will only fluctuate between 21 and 22 million b/d through 2025.
Since becoming operational in the early 1900’s, the Panama Canal has been a key component of the global shipping industry. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is currently in the midst of an ambitious expansion program that will ensure the canal continues to benefit from rising international trade. At present, the expansion is officially scheduled to be completed by October 2014, the canal’s centennial anniversary. However, some industry reports suggest that this could be delayed by approximately six months putting the inauguration in early 2015.
The title of this note borrows words from a popular series of novels currently on the bookshelves in the US or e-reader screens. It is difficult to predict nowadays what things in pop culture will go “viral.” In the shipping industry, even more so. With rising fuel prices and declining freight rates however, it seems that a focus on the optimum speed of ships would be a clear candidate for public discourse in the industry. To our surprise, it has taken several years to become a “hot” topic.