Oil Gone

December 23, 2008

oil well Life as we know it is coming to a quick, sure end.

A story this morning is disturbing:

  • So burn this into your mind: between 2007 and 2008 the IEA (International Energy Agency) radically changed its assessment.
    Until this year’s report, the agency mocked people who said that oil supplies might peak.
    In the foreword to a book it published in 2005, its executive director, Claude Mandil, dismissed those who warned of this event as “doomsayers.”

The IEA apparently has the right to change its mind, especially if the facts present themselves.
And the world will be different very shortly.

(Illustration found here).

Now the shoe is on the other foot (sorry can’t help it):

  • In its 2007 World Energy Outlook, the IEA predicted a rate of decline in output from the world’s existing oilfields of 3.7 percent a year.
    This, it said, presented a short-term challenge, with the possibility of a temporary supply crunch in 2015, but with sufficient investment any shortfall could be covered.
    But the new report, published last month, carried a very different message: a projected rate of decline of 6.7 percent, which means a much greater gap to fill.

    More importantly, in the 2008 report the IEA suggests for the first time that world petroleum supplies might hit the buffers.
    “Although global oil production in total is not expected to peak before 2030, production of conventional oil … is projected to level off towards the end of the projection period.”
    These bland words reveal a major shift.
    Never before has one of the IEA’s energy outlooks forecast the peaking or plateauing of the world’s conventional oil production (which is what we mean when we talk about peak oil).

    “In terms of non-OPEC [countries outside the big oil producers’ cartel]”, he (Fatih Birol, the lead author of the new energy outlook) replied, “we are expecting that in three, four years’ time the production of conventional oil will come to a plateau, and start to decline. … In terms of the global picture, assuming that OPEC will invest in a timely manner, global conventional oil can still continue, but we still expect that it will come around 2020 to a plateau as well, which is of course not good news from a global oil supply point of view.”

Read all of this interesting piece at AlterNet.

Oil, oil, bye-bye!

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