The global oil industry now appears to be in the early stages of a cyclical expansion which is likely to see prices rise over the next few years, slowly at first but then accelerating later. Deep and long cycles in oil prices have been the defining characteristic of the industry since the 1860s (“Crude volatility: the history and the future of boom-bust oil prices”, McNally, 2017). The boom-bust cycle which started in late 1998, with prices briefly below $10 per barrel, and was only briefly interrupted by the recession of 2008/09, ended in January 2016, with prices briefly below $28. In the 18 months since then, the industry has returned to an expansion phase, with a gradual increase in prices and drilling activity, much of it centered on the shale plays of North America. Most of the industry‚Äôs cyclical indicators (production, consumption, stocks, investment, employment, prices, […]