As the energy industry faces a time of reckoning — pressured by consistently low oil prices, high operating costs and a growing sustainable investing movement — oil and gas companies are increasingly turning to Silicon Valley for help streamlining operations and boosting efficiencies.
By some estimates, the addressable market for digital oil and gas solutions could grow 500% over the next five to six years, saving oil producers roughly $150 billion, while creating an ever-larger market for tech companies in the highly competitive — and high margin — business of cloud computing.
Energy giants have, of course, been using tech companies' enterprise software for years, and oil and gas companies' highly complex operating systems — including precise drilling techniques and rig management operations — have depended on sophisticated data-based decision making for decades.
Since the Nigerian government shut its borders to rice imports, it's these farmers who have had to bear the burden of producing enough of the crop to feed the country.
But after global oil prices plummeted in 2014, the government began to rethink its dependence on the resource and started investing in rice — a staple food consumed across all of Nigeria's geopolitical zones and socioeconomic classes.
In August 2019, the country closed its land borders to boost local production and stop the inflow of foreign rice.
Years of government neglect have meant that small-scale farmers, who account for 80% of the country's rice production, are now trying to provide for Nigeria's consumption of 7 million tons of rice a year — often with just their bare hands.
Right now, it's these small-scale rice farmers who are self-sufficient: planting, harvesting, leveling out roads, and taking their crops to market on their own.
A simpler method might be to invest in stocks such as Onex, Apollo or Blackrock: These private equity companies can do very well in times of low interest rates, by borrowing money to make deals.
Now, price declines are not good for TV manufacturers’ stocks (though TCL Electronics shares in Hong Kong are up 25 per cent in the past year) maybe a better play here is Walmart (WMT on NYSE), where customers buying TVs these days just might have a few thousand dollars extra to spend in the store.
The smart phone has resulted in thousands of dollars in cost savings by automating communication and payment options.
Zero commissions do hurt revenue at trading companies, but every investor now gets far lower fees on buys and sells within their portfolio, and that of course can only help improve long-term investment returns.
The ice held part of the answer to a question that had vexed scientists for years: How much of the methane in the atmosphere, one of the most potent sources of global warming, comes from the oil and gas industry?
Previously, geologic sources like volcanic seeps and gassy mud pots were thought to spit out about 10 percent of the methane that ended up in the atmosphere each year.
On a 20-year timescale, a methane molecule is roughly 90 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than a molecule of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that wields the most control over Earth’s future warming in the long-term.
In the past, scientists made estimates of how much so-called natural methane comes from geologic sources by trekking to a particular seep or muddy volcano and very carefully measuring its emissions.