Oil Analyst Makes Case for Electric Cars and Picks Copper as Way to Play Battery Future

Marin Katusa of Katusa Research is an oil and uranium analyst. He gave his take last year on oil and uranium prices. Oil will remain range bound and Uranium prices will recover but in 2 to 5 years from last year. This means in 2020 to 2023.

He talks about fracking and refracking. Refracking is going back into a well that was already fracked and using new technology and real-time drilling to adjust and get a lot more out of the well. This means that there is technology for a lot more oil and gas. There can be the occasional market and geopolitical situations where there is a price premium but the technology means there will be supply growth that will keep a lid on prices.

He indicates that Kazakstan and Russia are driving the uranium prices down. However, he believes in two to five year it will no longer make economic sense to overproduce depleting mines.

Green Energy – Hydro is Like Gold, Wind and Solar Are Like Silver and Copper

He indicates that green energy is real and walks through an analysis of solar. In the Question and Answer, he also explains that the same reason that he uses for solar justifies electric cars. The electric cars and solar will build and are building the infrastructure.

Four producers control 85% of the lithium market. If your company is going to make it in the lithium market then it has to move the market for the four big guys.

The ways to play the battery future on the commodity side is cobalt and copper. He is playing it with copper.

The last ten minutes are where electric cars and batteries are discussed.

He says China will guarantee the green energy and electric vehicle future.

10 thoughts on “Oil Analyst Makes Case for Electric Cars and Picks Copper as Way to Play Battery Future”

  1. We just cannot base ou new green energy on techniques/batteries that reguire mining of rare metals, this is not sustainable and circular. We will also risk mining areas that should not be mined due to that that land really should be used for food production or other more pressing needs like preserving nature and endangered species. This will not work in the long run. Research promoting the use of renewable materials in batteries etc is a much better solution.

  2. By definition, Black Swan events are the unexpected. So no, there aren’t any that are expected, because then they wouldn’t be a black swan.

    You might wanna tell this chick that:

  3. This is why the ICE isn’t going to die soon.

    WHAT I think WILL happen is fully mature plug-in hybrids will be common. All electric drive with just an onboard ‘genny’ to burn gasoline to make most of the juice.

  4. “while there are no “black swan events” expected in the near-to-mid term future”

    By definition, Black Swan events are the unexpected. So no, there aren’t any that are expected, because then they wouldn’t be a black swan.

    If there were any black swans that hit the EV industry, what might they be?

    1. Conclusive clear evidence that being near a big electric motor, or the common ingredients in a Lithium battery, were definitely causing deadly cancers.
    2. Sustained $10/barrel oil (make up your own story how this can happen)
    3. A 60% efficient, no pollution IC engine.
    4. Micro sized, portable cheap 100 kW sized fusion generators.

    As you can see, none of those are expected. (Except the few remaining cold fusion fanboys for number 4.)

  5. As a new EV owner, I wanted to comment on your points.
    1) Installation of a 40A/240V outlet is pretty easy. I just moved a hot tub outlet to a new location, also outside. Literally took 20 minutes, (after a trip to the hardware store). Outdoor outlets are rated, reliable and safe. Even if you are not electrically savvy, this is a quick install for an electrician for any home with a 150-200A panel.
    2) Partially true, but changing rapidly. My charging cable came with an adapter allowing me to access thousands of charging stations. Congestion can be an issue on big travel holidays, but otherwise not at all. I just drove 2k miles DEN to LA and didn’t wait once.
    3) Range anxiety is a thing, but only for the inexperienced. 3 weeks after I changed to an EV I pretty much know exactly how far my charge will take me and when I need to charge to a higher percentage or not. Same as knowing how far your tank of gas will take you, but in this case I start every morning with a full ‘tank’. Except the road trip I haven’t charged away from home yet.

  6. Seems solid; I’m definitely not ‘more stupider’ for listening for 15 minutes. The uranium market is very minor in the grand scheme of things tho…

    If there are operating 99 reactors in the US and a typical fuel reload costs $80M every 18 months, there is only a $6B market for finished fuel products in the USA. That is a rather high estimate for the order of magnitude of the market. It’s peanuts. The value of the generation is peanuts too. 99 plants each 1GW at $30/MW-hr is $26B.

    So, the nuclear-electrical generation of the country is worth $26B and amazon, the company I used to order a few xmas gifts, is worth $1,000B? Apple worth $1,000B?

    For me it is hard to know what is ‘real’ when the dollar simultaneously has great and minimal purchasing power.

    I can buy an iphone .OR. I can keep the lights on .AND. my air conditioned .AND. my food refrigerated for six months for the tidy sum of $1,000.

  7. Analysis that “the electric car trend is solid, on the rise, and without any sign of saturating in either demand, or in future technological support” is kind of obvious, and rather prescient. However, while there are no “black swan events” expected in the near-to-mid term future (say now until 2025), it also is the case that the primary 3 consumer-level disadvantages remain.  

    [1] At-home recharging complexity.
    [2] In public recharging rate.
    [3] Range anxiety vs. available public infrastructure.

    At-home recharging at ‘slow rate’ is easy. At ‘fast rate’, it requires a relatively painless (to tech-competent) installation of a ‘vampire tap’ on one’s electric dryer, OR, having an electrician come in to install a 40 amp 240 volt appliance-type utility plug near where the charger head is to be located. It doesn’t like being outdoors. At all.

    The in-public chargers ‘suffer’ from not being universal. They’re close, but there are definitely different standards. That, and as the number of e-cars has increased, the e-chargers haven’t, so now there regularly is significant “congestion at the pump” to contend with.

    So-called “range anxiety” remains the most serious common issue: many a driver is woefully unable to estimate whether they have sufficient charge to comport themselves to a day’s driving. It just adds to life’s complexity. 


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