Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading efforts to take state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. public. The kingdom is targeting $60 a barrel oil in order to make the float, scheduled for 2018, a success.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading efforts to take state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. public. The kingdom is targeting $60 a barrel oil in order to make the float, scheduled for 2018, a success.

The expected tens of billions of dollars generated from the listing are intended to be invested in a fund aimed at diversifying the country’s economy.

But the 31-year-old prince has a difficult task ahead as Brent prices have fallen 21.48% in the last 6 months and major oil producers who originally banded together to prop up oil have not come up with new ideas to reverse the slide.

Wall Street Journal Energy Report

Prices fell another two dollars last Wednesday. Prices then had an inside day, below the previous day’s high and low. But as reported here last week, lower lows probably lie ahead. Volume has been the highest on down days, meaning there are more sellers than buyers. Yes there is a buyer for every seller but to absorb the volume of selling, the price has fallen.

Other bell weathers like the shares of Apache APA continue to fall. And our technical indicators for all these sectors are nowhere near a bottom yet.

The Reuters Jefferies Commodity Index is comprised of four groups with different weightings. The four groups cover 19 commodities. It is widely used as a measure of inflation or in this case deflation. It peaked around 475 when crude oil topped at $145 in 2008. Today it it registers a mere 166.50. This is even lower than the 200 it registered at the March 2009 low of the financial crisis. So prices of all commodity classes continue to fall. This is all part of the expected three year bottoming process from 2014 or the 10 year process from the 2008 highs. Both West Texas Intermediate and the CRB index are under all four monthly moving averages that we track (50,87,125,200 bar). The point being it will take considerable time for the moving averages to fall to future prices and then bottom.

Meanwhile, the transportation industry is undergoing the same changes the oil industry experienced in the 1960s. Which is to say the move to electric power is on.

The Consumer Affairs website lists their top ten electric bicycles. The light weight of a bicycle allows a good range. The Prodeco Tech Phantom X2v5 Folding Electric Bicycle (where is the marketing department with a name like that?) lists for $1,699. It features hydraulic disc brakes and a touted 30 mile range at 20 mph. If the stigma of low price bothers you, consider the Trek Super Commuter +_8S. Priced at a premium $5,000 it does feature a Bosch electric motor.

Electrics are elbowing their way into the motorcycle realm as well. Dan Neil at the WSJ recently compared the California built Zero DSR. The 70 horsepower motor delivers a whopping 116 pound feet of torque. Think of torque as twisting power, that V-8 shove you back in the seat of big motor muscle cars or the kick in the pants launch of a high boost turbocharged four cylinder. Gasoline engines build torque with higher revolutions per minute. But the electric advantage is maximum torque from the get go. That and simplified maintenance powered the change over from gas to electric for pumping units in the oil field. Bottom line, the Zero will whisk you to 60 mph in less than four seconds, hold the handlebars with both hands!

After a flop with the Volt, Chevy is back with the Bolt, winning Motor Trend’s Car of 2017 Award. This time Chevy’s offering delivers 238 miles per charge, bolting to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and delivering a whopping 266 lb/ft of torque. With an average commute of 40 miles, about what I do, one could go three or four days between charges. After a federal rebate the base model is about $30,000. And this is a much sleeker looking five-door design than the Volt.

Some of the fastest cars in the world are now electrics. The Porsche 919 just won Lemans for the third year in a row. Such hybrids combine dual electric motors with a gasoline engine. Regenerative braking and all that torque makes for a winning experience.

Nissan has announced it intends to become the largest maker of electric vehicles. Google Nissan ESFLOW to examine a Z based 100 percent electric sports car. Nissan offers 150 miles on a single charge. But now that I think about it, a five door Chevy that gets to 60 mph in less than seven seconds sounds pretty sporty to me.

European cities are already creating zero emission zones, i.e, no combustion engines. So automakers are in a race to create greater range.

On the other hand, will the Beach Boys ever write a song about a Chevy Bolt?

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