Between oil speculators, price volatility, over-zealous regulators and an antagonistic government, the oil industry faces a challenging environment. Some might even argue that the environment itself is an impediment to the extraction and production of the fuels we all need to operate the modern economy.
To an outsider, the problems look daunting. There is talk of dwindling oil supply, which, combined with increased demand from growing economies, threatens to drive oil prices parabolic. There are concerns that pollution from combustion engines, a chief end-user of oil, is irrevocably harming the environment. Lastly, there is the reality that oil prices, for a variety of reasons, drag down the economy just as it starts to improve and work out of a negative state.