Enormous reserves of shale oil in the south of Argentina were recently discovered by this company. Estimates indicate a 44 percent growth in Argentina's natural oil reserves. Both the South American country and the Spanish based company will profit from investing to tap into the equivalent of 927 million barrels of crude. To date, large areas remain unexplored, hiding potentially bigger reserves of oil and natural gas. 

12 of the 21 best-performing income stocks in the US over the past ten years are in the energy investment sector. The crude oil and natural gas business accounts for about 15% of all domestic stocks yielding 6% or more. and it takes more than half of the biggest winners. This raises the question... why have dividend-paying energy stocks done so well?

There was a time, before 1996, when some intelligent drivers collected fried oil from restaurants. It was a win-win situation: restaurant people were happy to have their garbage disposed for free and the smart motorists were happy for replacing the expensive diesel fuel with filtered fried uneatable oil that restaurants had to dump anyway. MacGyver types marvelled their neighbors and acquaintances for driving expensive Diesel powered Mercedeces on vegetable oil. These cars were traceable by the unmistakable smell of french fries they left behind. 

But in 1996, a too smart guy, on his name Josh Tickell, started to drive his Veggie Van across the country. He made big news! And big news are not always good news, especially when talking about FREE collected garbage (fried vegetable oil from restaurants) turned into diesel engine fuel. Individuals preparing their own biodiesel were no more under the radar of the Washington Warthog, and some adjacent corporations. The biodiesel idea turned from a DIY oddity into corporate business, and into a tax and regulation nonsense. 

Really, what crude oil and corn have in common? Most likely atoms of carbon and hydrogen. But that's more out there, on the market of biofuels, according to policies implemented by the US Congress. A short history in images to begin with. 

Crude oil and natural gas producers in the USA employ nine million people. Additional millions of shareholders are part of what is called "big oil," part of its profits for sure. Close to half the US population holds stock in oil and natural gas companies. This happens because of the 145 million retirement accounts that are invested in crude oil and gas corporations. Through your pension funds, you're most likely a part of big oil! 

"The average value of these pension accounts is less than $55,000. 48.6 million American families hold IRAs that are invested in oil and natural gas companies—80 percent of these IRA holders earn $70,000 or less. All in all, corporate management owns 2.8 percent of oil companies; middle class Americans largely own the rest."
 

Oil prices point north in the short time perspective of yet another recession averted in Europe and the US. Crude oil, of the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) type, went upwards from $77 a barrel to $93 during October and one may already see gasoline and Diesel prices hurrying to move back to the $4 mark.

"Meanwhile, even as crude oil surges, natural-gas prices remain in a funk as U.S. output surges ever higher. The broadening price differential between crude oil and natural gas could be a boon for several companies, and as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, is bringing real attention to the exploration side of the business. But another group of companies is positioned to benefit if natural gas takes off as an energy source in the transportation sector."

If you were to print money, they'll put you in jail. But banks are allowed to create money with every new signed loan. Banks can loan out nine times more money than they receive in deposits. And not just citizens borrow money from banks, but most importantly governments. In this apparently complex cycle, banks create and develop debt, personal and national. It turns out that more than three fourths of circulating money is in fact debt not monetary mass.   

One may rightfully point fingers and one could justify a way or another. But that's mostly bad blood because nothing short of a major disruptive event would make things right in a world of wrongs. 

It is said that experimental thorium reactors were abandoned in favor of uranium based reactors because, during the Cold War, governments wanted weapons-grade plutonium as a byproduct of civilian energy production plants. Thorium reactors do not produce plutonium and this seems to be more politically correct nowadays than it was in the 1970s. Thorium-based reactors are cleaner and safer than uranium-based reactors. It's not a new technology but rather an update of an old development that took place for over two decades. 

India officially announced plans to build an experimental thorium reactor, that can be consequently converted into a stable and efficient energy production plant. 

The prime excuse covering any price hike of Diesel fuel, or gasoline for that matter, is the "huge demand." Now let us think thoroughly: those complex oil companies, haven't they vast office floors of analysts predicting years ahead how "huge" the demand would be at one point or another? Can we actually imagine that drilling and trading and shipping, and then the refineries, and the fuel retail distribution network, all of these, are managed on a whim?, from yesterday to tomorrow, like a hectic patchwork family? It is quite unlikely that big oil, along with states, governments and international cartels, are randomly taken by surprise, every now and then, when a "huge demand" pops up across the horizon, like dark cracking alien ships in a Roland Emmerich movie.
 

In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan's America influenced the prices of crude oil to go low. This raised production and gradually led to a simulated peak oil. Some liberals still believe it was real. The actual backstage game was to speed up bankruptcy across the Soviet economy. With the Red Army clogged in Afghanistan, with their centralized clunky planned economy, a so-called oil peak was an intelligent push to cripple a huge portion of Moscow's income from energy exports. So the Soviet empire was no more after 1991. 

Almost a decade later, the young guns of the former KGB took over Kremlin. They were not just young but also much smarter than their former leaders. Vladimir Putin's Russia has rebuilt its political power and projected regional influence based on natural gas and oil exports. Former communists swiftly converted into capitalists, building a transnational network of oil companies from Europe to Japan, from South America to the Middle East and from China to Northern Africa.