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Peak oil - Jan 17

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


BP says world oil demand to peak

Alex Lawler, Reuters
World oil production may peak in the coming years, but it will be because of a decline in demand for petroleum rather than constraint on supply, a BP economist said on Wednesday.

The comments come in the wake of remarks from other industry officials who in recent months have questioned mainstream supply forecasts, suggesting a peak in output may be closer than the industry has previously admitted.

"I believe there is a realistic possibility that world oil production will peak within the next generation as a result of peaking demand," BP Special Economic Advisor Peter Davies told a meeting at parliament organised by a group of lawmakers looking into peak oil.
(16 January 2008)
This sounds to me more like a PR soundbite than serious analysis. -BA


The Oil Price Rise--Timing Benchmarks Delineate Our Likely Advance to the Oil Peak

Charles T. Maxwell, ASPO-USA
Back in 2001, I set out some timing benchmarks for energy developments that I saw coming towards us (“Nearing the Top of Hubbert’s Peak,” 8/1/01). These benchmarks have served me well over the succeeding si1Xyears in a general sense, but now I think that they need to be sharpened and tightened a bit. We are closing in on some of the dates cited for important defined events such as the peak of non-OPEC oil supply, projected then for 2010. I now believe that certain of these dates should be modified, in this case to 2008. The reasons here are more technical than fundamental.

Some 12 out of the top 30 non-OPEC countries have already recorded their peak production of oil. They comprise together some 42% of total non-OPEC output today. China, with approximately 9% of the volume of the 30, appears to be on a three or four-year plateau of output and could be expected to start down in 2008 or 2009. Whenever that date falls, that would be the signal that the majority of barrels lifted in the non-OPEC world were in a declining production mode. Our previous best guess of a top in 2010 might have worked if Angola and Ecuador had stayed in the non-OPEC group. But, they switched over to the OPEC production column in 2007. With their volumes subtracted from the non-OPEC total, and Chinese production rolling over as discussed above, I believe that 2008 would be the most likely date for the remaining non-OPEC group to reach their combined peak.

The main significance of this particular benchmark is that after 2008, the non-OPEC world would be unable, on balance, to produce a net incremental barrel to supply its own needs, and would have to go to the OPEC countries and ask them if they had any availability of oil, and at what price it might be purchased. This situation should lift OPEC’s power to discriminate politically among its possible clients, and to tighten or loosen supplies in world oil markets, thereby guiding oil prices.
(14 January 2008)


Why Is this Apocalypse Different than All Other Apocalypses:
Making the Case for Peak Oil and Climate Change Now

Sharon Astyk, Casaubon's Book
A lot of what I write works from the assumption that we all agree that peak oil and climate change are happening and going to be life-changing events. And yet, some people who read this blog don’t necessarily agree on this subject, or they don’t see the effects has being as profound as I do, or perhaps the idea of peak oil or climate change is fairly new to them, and they are struggling to grasp the implications. So sometimes, we need to back up, and make the case for something that is always new to some people. The truth is that if my writing is to be anything other than preaching to the converted, we have to answer the skeptics.

...what present day evidence do we have for each case [peak oil and climate change]? How can I see this with my own eyes? And how do the various available accounts I’m being offered match up with both the scientific evidence and the evidence of my eyes? That is, both the “disasters are coming” and the “it’ll never happen” crowds are telling stories - they are giving an account of the past and the future. Picking the right story depends on our being able to match up evidence with the narrative being provided to us.

And while those two data points are convincing, they aren’t everything we need to know to make a decision - we also need to ask ourselves how to apply an imperfect case for something. That is, assuming that very few things about the future can be known with absolute certainty, we need to know what the case for action is - that is, how should we use the information above? What tools of analysis will get us the best results?

I’m going to go through these questions, one at a time, to the best of my ability. Because the subject is such a long one, this will appear in two parts.
(10 January 2008)
Nice explanations of the technical material. -BA


Kunstler and Kathy McMahon of PeakOilBlues

KMO, C-Realm Podcast #73
In this episode, KMO concludes his conversation with James H. Kunstler, author of the Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the 21st Century. Later, we hear from Kathy McMahon, founder of PeakOilBlues.com about the range of psychological reactions which commonly manifest themselves in people who come to appreciate the implications of peak oil.
Show notes: kmo.livejournal.com/331946.html
(16 January 2008)

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