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Looking to oil's vanishing point

Hard-to-quantify shifts may be underway in global energy and the oil industry will ignore them at its peril

THE OIL industry has big problems – and they go deeper than $45-a-barrel Brent, the Doha debacle, corporate losses and the slump in upstream spending. In Paris on 21 April, energy executives, Opec officials and academics pitched up at a hotel for IFP and Petrostrategies’ annual oil summit. So did the protesters. They picked an odd target. The Paris summit is no showcase for Big Oil excess and the views from the dais were as sceptical of oil’s future as they were confident. How did an industry that keeps ambulances running and remains essential to global prosperity come to be as deplored as the tobacco business? Other industry assumptions have also been overturned. Four principles used to

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