2014: the winds of change

Tim Haïdar


"Change is nature" Remy, Ratatouille (2007)

As we ushered in 2014 Anno Domini, continued through 1435 Anno Hegirae and prepare to welcome the Year of the Horse on the final day of this month, the question for many of us at this nascent stage of the year will be what does 2014 have in store for our industry?

As the protracted Syrian crisis will doubtless rumble into its third year this March, will we see the long-feared occlusion of the Sunni-Shia war of civilisation ravage the heart of OPEC and oil prices go through the roof?

Will the mollification of relations between Iran and the West promote a new birth of freedom for that pariah state and flood the global hydrocarbon markets with Persian crude once more, taking us to $80 a barrel for the first time since 2010?

Will the Chinese dragon, hungry for energy and flush with cash continue on its ravenous global asset spending spree in the year that symbolises speed and perseverance?

And what will 2014 mean for the industry's most polemic son, shale? From the frack pads of North Dakota to North-Western England and Western Siberia will the shale gale that began to blow in the United States grip the rest of the world in its thrall or simply blow itself out?

The fog of war will dissipate in the fullness of time and although change is natural but will 2014 be a case of plus èa change, plus c'est la mëme chose?