As 2015 drew to a close, many in the global energy industry were praying that the price of oil would bounce back from the abyss, restoring the petroleum-centric world of the past half-century. All evidence, however, points to a continuing depression in oil prices in 2016 — one that may, in fact, stretch into the 2020s and beyond. Given the centrality of oil (and oil revenues) in the global power equation, this is bound to translate into a profound shakeup in the political order, with petroleum-producing states from Saudi Arabia to Russia losing both prominence and geopolitical clout. Read more >>
The cartoon by Schrank from The Independent is a visual metaphor for the plummeting oil price and the likely consequences. The leaky oil pipeline resembles the falling line on a graph and is a metaphor for the collapsing price of oil (the cartoonist helpfully adds a label). The oil gushing from the pipeline has created a big pool (= oil glut) into which a figure on a bicycle (= the world) is about to ride, with, one imagines, disastrous consequences. There are two baskets on the bike. The one at the back contains flowers and labelled 'Environment'. The one at the front, labelled 'Global stability', is full of eggs (an obvious reference to putting all your eggs in one basket).