Monday, April 12, 2010

Peak oil... when again?

One thing pretty well everyone can agree on is the fact that the amount of oil in the ground is finite. The big unknown, of course, is how much there actually is, and thus when demand will outstrip supply. Well, America's finest military minds fear that it may happen soon:
The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.

The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.

"By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day," says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis.

It adds: "While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India."
From the Guardian (h/t Mega in this iTulip thread). Of course, they're particularly concerned with the national security implications, just like the CIA's Center on Climate Change and National Security.

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