Oil Shale Quarry Photo Photo courtesy Sam Heck of Flickr under Creative Commons license

Oil for the Ages Disruptive Innovation

Thanks to the U.S.-led revolution in fracking, oil is abundant. It will be for decades, if not centuries, because there is shale everywhere in the world. And unlike the megaprojects that have dominated the oil industry over the past several decades, shale can be tapped by smaller companies with less capital.

Wind turbines and an oil well outside Sweetwater, Texas. Flickr user mwwile via Creative Commons

Wind turbines and an oil well outside Sweetwater, Texas. Flickr user mwwile via Creative Commons

The oil market, as OPEC has learned to its sorrow, is now much more difficult to control. This is capitalist creative destruction. But nowadays it happens on Internet-time, so it’s also “disruptive innovation.” Fracking is to the global oil industry what Uber is to taxi medallion owners: great for consumers who enjoy the sudden abundance, deadly for incumbents whose business models were built on exploiting scarcity. –Donald L. Luskin, The Wall Street Journal, 8 January 2016