Publications: The Petroleum Economics Monthly

Energy's Future Black Swans (January 2015)


We took the title of this issue of The Petroleum Economics Monthly from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan. As the author explains, black swans were considered impossible by Europeans until Europeans arrived in Australia and found the birds. Before that discovery, all swans were believed to be white. Taleb then adopts the occurrence of such “Black Swan events” as his theme, defining the events to be unexpected incidents or developments.


This subject has come up because Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi raised it with regard to energy markets at the December meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, asking “Is there a black swan that we don’t know about which will come by 2050 and we will have no demand?” In response, we devote this report to potential energy Black Swans.


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