Top 10 energy questions for 2010 – Hydrocarbons edition

We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest energy issues from 2009, and the ideas that will be tested in 2010. You can add suggestions of anything that should be on the list, either via the comments or by emailing us.

1.       What role will China’s consumption, foreign acquisitions, inventories, and domestic production play in the energy future?

2.      Is the $70 crude price floor here to stay?

3.      Did oil prices help cause the recession – and might they threaten the recovery?

4.      When will oil inventories draw down?

5.      The shale gas investment boom – will it pay off, or will low prices persist?

6.       Will peak demand theory gather ground?

7.       Or will peak production fears worsen?

8.       Is a global, fungible natural gas market growing near?

9.       How much oil is off the West African coast, and what will it mean for those countries?

10.    Will commodity speculators be more closely regulated?

We have a separate list on the climate change/clean tech questions.

UPDATED: Some great suggestions from readers below – thanks – also my colleague Carola has a few additions particularly on Iraq which of course will have a big impact on the oil scene over the next few years:

- Will international oil comps make headway in Iraq after agreeing deals in 2009 or will politics (the general elections in particular) or violence get in the way?

- How will Opec deal with any increase in Iraqi oil supply? Will countries be forced to begin to discuss lowering their output to accomodate new oil from Iraq (if it comes)?

- Will DC regulators slow shale gas boom – and stop Exxon/XTO merger – with new regulations on fracking?

- Will nuclear really come to the UAE and who will bring it?

- Will more companies ‘do a Devon’ and sell large parts of their international portfolio?

- Will Nabucco be taken off life-support?

- Will Ed Crooks’s desk finally collapse under the weight of its paper piles? (Okay, that one probably requires a photo…)

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