Thursday, November 13, 2008

Looks Like Peak Oil is History, or Imminent

Graph credit:

World Oil Production in IEA's Reference Scenario (IEA WEO 2008 Slide 8) Source: (pdf)

From The Wall Street Journal Blog

Peak Oil: Get Ready for the Oil-Supply Crunch, IEA Says

Lower oil prices these days are both a result of the economic slowdown and a possible cushion. But they could be a very mixed blessing. The Paris based International Energy Agency is worried about an oil supply crunch in coming years. It’s not due to geology—the IEA says the world has plenty of oil, in one form or another. But trying to match oil supplies to growing oil demand in coming years is a Herculean task made all the harder by cheapish crude prices which make oil companies think twice about new investments.

The biggest challenge will come between 2010 and 2015, the IEA says in its 2008 World Energy Outlook. For the next couple of years, the oil pipeline is well supplied. But that trails off after 2010. By 2015, the world needs to find an additional 7 million barrels per day of oil above and beyond the projects currently in the pipeline. And to get that oil to market those projects need to get started now. But now’s not a good time . . .

From The Oil Drum:

Unfortunately, recent market events, only indirectly related to oil, will now likely set July 2008 in stone as the date of maximum world oil production, despite the 'best-best case' scenario portrayed in the IEA report. Up against near double digit depletion rates and higher cost (lower energy gain) prospects, the oil industry now also faces a growing lack of confidence in the international financial system where near herculean investment is needed ($26 trillion = 37 times the recent controversial $700 billion bailout package in US), and credit, especially when the price of oil is well below the marginal cost of extraction (at 86mbpd) makes approving new projects, let along continuing existing production, problematic. Though not explicitly stated, one may infer that there is now increased risk that these investments will not be made.
And where are we going to get $26 Trillion to eke out a peak in 2030 when our economy is being killed by a credit crunch that itself is being caused by the just-barely-beginning-of-the-unwinding of over ONE QUADRILLION DOLLARS IN DERIVATIVES?!?! Even more so, when the price in oil is being hammered daily by the collapse of the commodities bubble, which so recently caused great inflation in consumables (food, fuel, etc)?

Looks to me we won't get peak oil in 2030, but much, much sooner due to lack of investment using credit (debt).

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