NEW YORK and LONDON, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The days of worrying about the threat of a devastating oil price hike are over, according to a white paper from The Boston Company Asset Management (TBC), LLC, the Boston-based equity specialist for BNY Mellon. For decades, pundits have been trying to predict the point at which a sustained climb in oil prices would spark a near-collapse of the global economy. However, TBC's February 2013 paper, End of an Era: The Death of Peak Oil, contends structural shifts in the energy industry have insulated the global economy from dramatic spikes in oil prices, while simultaneously creating an array of investment opportunities. After years of indifference, U.S. consumers have radically reduced their consumption of petroleum and related products, moderating demand in the world's largest market, according to the report. Concurrently, heightened investments and technological breakthroughs, such as fracking, have spurred an explosion in resources, creating balanced supply and demand, the report said. Areas of investment opportunity highlighted in the report include exploration companies, energy service companies, pipeline and transportation companies, companies that benefit from the low cost of gas and associated liquids, and companies that sell products to firms that directly are involved in natural gas and oil production. The changing environment for energy has created potential traps for investors, warns Robin Wehbe, who heads the energy research team at TBC and is a co-author of the report. "Exploration companies have become victims of their own success as natural gas discoveries have led to a glut of new supply and depressed prices," he said. "However, investors who can identify exploration companies operating in the most profitable and prospective shale plays can find opportunities." Energy services companies drill wells and perform other services for the exploration companies. The report notes that services companies operating technologically advanced horizontal operating drilling rigs are integral to recovering the new sources of oil and gas from shale.