Sunday, November 29, 2009

Peak oil - when?

Almost everyone knows, deep down, that the amount of oil on the Earth is finite. The question is when it will run out. Actually we'll have a problem, economically speaking, long before it actually runs out, because the price of oil will skyrocket, and like it or not our economy, as things stand now, is heavily dependent on the stuff. From an environmental point of view this would be a good thing, because it would virtually force us to reduce our CO2 emissions, but the transition will be tough on a lot of people.

Given this, one would hope that the experts have reliable information. After all, if we have an idea when oil production will peak, we can plan ahead for it and work to reduce our dependency. So how reliable is the information that they have?

The debate has intensified in recent weeks after whistleblowers claimed the IEA figures were unreliable and subject to political manipulation – something the agency categorically denies. But the subject of oil reserves touches not just energy and climate change policy but the wider economic scene, because hydrocarbons still oil the wheels of international trade.

Even the Paris-based IEA admits that the world still needs to find the equivalent of four new Saudi Arabias to feed increasing demand at a time when the depletion rate in old fields of the North Sea and other major producing areas is running at 7% year on year.

From the Guardian. We'll have to see where this goes; if the peak comes when the experts aren't prepared, things could get rather ugly.


Mr. Nobody said...

Peak Oil ????? Some say the earth is producing it naturally and will never run out.

Perhaps the Peak Oilists are just as bad as the Global Warmists in that they collude to fix the message.

nitroglycol said...

Ah yes, the abiotic petroleum theory. Sure, I suppose it's possible. Maybe God, with the able assistance of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Great Pumpkin, is sucking the CO2 from the air as fast as we can produce it, and making it back into oil so we can live happily ever after.

Thing is, do you want to bet the economy (much less the biosphere) on that being the case? I don't.