Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Approaching peak oil

Guardian (UK):…For many years, the idea that global oil production will soon start to fall, with potentially catastrophic economic consequences, has languished on the fringes of the environmental debate, with nothing like the recognition of climate change, and shunned by the industry itself. But when the history is written, 2007 is likely to go down as the year the issue of peak oil production went mainstream. In Cork, the former US energy secretary, James Schlesinger, used his keynote speech to tell delegates that they were no longer a tiny minority crying in the wilderness: "You can declare victory . . . and prepare to take yes for an answer."

….In Cork, the former Shell chairman, Lord Oxburgh, told me he expects demand to outstrip supply within 20 years, and that the oil price may well hit $150. He warned: "We may be sleepwalking into a problem that is actually going to be very serious, and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware."

It is no surprise that most senior oil executives still refuse to accept their business may soon start to contract, but the evidence is becoming increasingly hard to ignore, as companies struggle to maintain production or adequately replace the oil they do produce with fresh reserves….

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