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Peak oil - Apr 18

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GCC (Middle East) crude exports set to double in 2030

Nadim Kawach, Emirates Business 24/7 (UAE)
Crude exports by the UAE and other Middle East oil heavyweights are expected to double in 2030, while their gas sales will jump by more than six times, according to a prominent Western oil analyst.

From around 18 million barrels per day in 2005, the region’s total oil exports are projected to surge to more than 36 million bpd in 2030, said Noe van Hulst, Secretary-General of the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum (IEF). The rise will boost the Middle East’s share of world’s crude oil supplies to more than 30 per cent in 2030 from about 22 per cent in 2005, the Norwegian oil veteran told an oil conference in Mexico last week.

“The Middle East was the top oil supplier in 2005 and is expected to remain so in 2030,” he said in a speech sent to Emirates Business on Wednesday. Hulst gave no breakdown, but according to the US Energy Information Administration, Saudi Arabia will remain the dominant oil supplier, with its crude exports swelling to 17.1m bpd in 2030 from around nine million bpd in 2005.
(16 April 2008)
Contributor Jeffrey J. Brown writes:

This is an astounding article. Notice there is no mention of two straight years of net oil export declines by Saudi Arabia--despite the highest oil prices in history and a large increase in drilling. Saudi Arabia is currently showing precisely the same production response that the prior swing producer, Texas, showed at about the same stage of depletion (based on our models):

Higher Oil Prices + Increased Drilling = Lower Crude Oil Production

Our (Foucher/Brown) middle case is that the Saudi Arabia individually and the top five net oil exporters collectively (Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran and the UAE) will approach zero net oil exports in the 2031 time frame.


How not to prepare for peak oil

Andrew Leonard, Salon
Now that the price of a barrel of oil has topped $115, the words "peak oil" can be found just about anywhere -- including in the headline of an April 16 Financial Times editorial.

But "Preparing for the age of peak oil" offers little in the way of advice for how civilization might face up to a carbon-constrained future through such measures as conservation or energy efficiency or alternative energy technologies. Instead, the editorial recommends that Russia, which recently shocked the world by acknowledging that its domestic oil production appears to have peaked, should disavow its cold shoulder to foreign oil companies and cut domestic taxes holding back the oil industry: ...

... Granted, Pemex does not appear to be run very well, and Vladimir Putin's treatment of foreign oil companies smacks of unforgivable Communist-dictator-era insolence. But it's not clear to me how accelerating the exploitation of the oil resources still extant is the prudent long-term move -- even if such measures did result, in the short-term, in lower oil prices.

The high price of oil is a serious economic downer with regressive implications for the poor and working class, all the world over, but it's also the best incentive we've got for forcing conservation, improvements in energy efficiency, and investment in alternate energy technologies. And that's how you prepare for the age of peak oil, not to mention attempt avoiding the disruptions threatened by climate change.
(17 April 2008)


What future awaits Russia and the world after oil

Pravda
Andrey Parshev, author of the scandalous bestsellers “Why Russia Isn’t America” and “Why is America Advancing,” is known for his boisterous remarks that initially seem absurd, but have the habit of coming true. Ten years ago, Russian politicians laughed at Parshev's comment about the U.S. attacking Iraq. Similarly, economists were quick to joke when Parshev said the U.S. dollar would drastically lose value sometime around 2007.

Parshev’s new book will hit store shelves soon. With the working title “Winter of the Giants,” the book dissects how events will unfold in Russia and abroad when all the country's oil has been extracted. KP invited Parshev to an Internet conference with our readers.

Olga, Moscow: You’re addressing such a global issue. Maybe it's really not worth it... Maybe there will be an oil crisis in several years...

Parshev: According to recent statistics from the Natural Resources Ministry, Russia's known oil reserves should last until about 2022. Everything that is currently being extracted was discovered in the Soviet era. The entire country hasn't been surveyed. We should begin geological surveillance immediately. The ministry’s projection doesn’t include oil resources that exist, whose volumes remain undetermined. So there is hope that their combined resources might add several decades onto our oil lifeline. But this still doesn’t solve the problem - sooner or later the oil will end. What energy source will we utilize to work and get around?

Anonymous, Moscow: I can’t imagine how the world will survive if we suddenly run out of oil. Almost everything depends on it...

Parshev: Honestly, oil isn't the most commonly used energy source in the world. Oil only accounts for 10-20 percent in most countries. Some nations are very dependent on oil, such as Iceland, which has a large fishing fleet. Russia is more dependent on the gas that warms its European regions. Moscow’s thermal stations run on natural gas. In its coal equivalent, about 80 million tons are used annually. Coal is still a major energy source in most countries. It plays an important role in the U.S., just as atomic energy does in France. Thus, civilization won't face a major catastrophe when we run out of oil. But we're in for major changes.

... Vladislav Finochenko: How do you feel about scientists who say oil won’t run out soon because it’s a self-renewing resource related to processes occurring deep within our planet?

Parshev: It's a difficult question. There are tons of hydrocarbons in Jupiter’s atmosphere. This means hydrocarbons are a fairly common occurrence in our Universe. But oil doesn’t generate at exhausted oil fields in marketable quantities.

... Vitaliy: Can we delay the oil crisis?

Parshev: There are two options. We can develop an oil-substituting technology, or we can decrease usage. But this is very difficult. I’m not sure the West will be able to do so willingly.

Reader: What do you think will take over black gold's role in the world economy after oil?

Parshev: Coal. But only under the condition that a progressive technology will be developed timely to process and use it. What's most important is to develop ways to extract liquid fuel from coal. Studies are ongoing in many countries, like England. It’s hard to say what's being done here. Some research is being conducted, but we haven’t reached the industrial level.

Q: Are we really going to be riding horses again?

Parshev: On the one hand, it's impossible for us to wind up back on the saddle. But on the other hand, it’s unavoidable as a long-term prospect. Horses, though, are much more comfortable than tractors. And they’re widely used in developed agricultural systems. If you travel around England, you'll often see horses grazing by the road. As fuel prices rise, horses will become a more profitable mode of transportation. They'll begin to take over the roles of today's vehicles. So a wise government should start thinking about how to increase the number of workhorses in Russia, and develop veterinary services and pedigree farms. In the meantime, this could be done for recreational purposes, but for future agricultural use. This is just one alternative.
(16 April 2008)
Fascinating to see the view from Russia. No mention of Hubbert, peak oil or climate change. Perhaps they're in his to-be-published book. -BA

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