Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

oil - set to rise?

I like to keep an eye on the most impartial commentator on the oil price and its future - the market!

Latest - from today -

Crude Oil: The Best Bet for 2012 Steve Belmont

Crude oil may not only be the best commodity play for 2012, it could prove to be the best commodity play of the next three to four years, soundly beating both gold and silver. I'm not talking about oil producers, refiners or drillers...or any individual stock – but the real thing: crude oil itself.

Don't get us wrong, we still like gold and silver and will probably recommend jumping back into silver shortly. But you can't pour gold into a farm tractor and use it to grow more food. You can't pump silver into a 747 and use it to transport cargo. You can't use gold or silver to make overall production more efficient and generate a higher standard of living. In fact, you can't do any of these things without crude oil. This is why crude is and will continue to be the world's most essential commodity.

5 Reasons to Buy Crude Oil Now

1) Oil supplies have peaked – oil supply lags discovery by approximately 40 years. New oil discoveries peaked in 1965. Not surprisingly, production has basically flat-lined since 2005. Despite all the press given to new deep water discoveries and North American shale supplies, new production is not keeping up with the depletion of old wells. 

2) Producing nations are consuming more of their own output and exporting less. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Norway and Venezuela are exporting far less oil than they did in 2006.

3) Global population is growing rapidly and more people are growing accustomed to better, more energy-dependent lifestyles.

4) Crude oil is decoupling from the dollar. For most of 2011, crude oil was a "risk on", short dollar play. No longer. Crude is rallying in both strong and weak dollar environments. This is bullish.
5) The odds of a pre-emptive strike against Iran (the 3rd largest oil producer) are the highest they've been in years. 33% of global tanker traffic passes through the Strait of Hormuz which Iran has threatened to close in retaliation for global trade sanctions. Expect it to make good on those threats if bombs start falling on its nuclear facilities.

Therefore, we believe crude has a better chance of doubling from its current $100 per barrel level than gold has doubling from its current levels of $1,575 per ounce. It's not that we hate gold. We don't. Some of the same conditions that favour crude will also favour the shiny stuff. But for "bang for the buck," we feel crude oil is the best opportunity on the board right now.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a short-termist investor article. Short term factors will drive oil higher - but the underlying "new reserves/supply/demand" equation is an evolving one.
* Time taken to go from discovery to supply has been shortened due to technology, so isn't 40years.
* Supplies identified in the past have been unecononic to extract - until the high prices. That also lengthens the "time from discovery to extract" figure.
* Supply is flat because discoveries of reserves are not being exploited exactly so as to drive the price higher (given increased demand) and thus make them economical.
We haven't run out of oil yet - but having said that,I don't know what, or how big a shock, it will take to shift the balance to alternatives.