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Energy group sounds dual warnings
Jad Mouawad, International Herald Tribune
In a stark warning, the International Energy Agency said Thursday that the world’s energy systems would need extensive new investment to meet growing demand, while warning at the same time that urgent action was required to curb carbon emissions that cause global warming.
The agency, an adviser to industrialized nations, said the world’s energy systems were strained by dueling forces. First, growing energy consumption in developing nations is stretching the ability of many producers to increase their supplies, which could result in a prolonged period of high and volatile prices. At the same time, rising energy demand could also lead to serious changes in the world’s climate in coming decades if carbon emissions are not curbed.
“Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable – environmentally, economically, and socially,” the agency said. “But that can – and must – be altered.”
It added, “Preventing catastrophic and irreversible damage to the global climate ultimately requires a major decarburization of the world energy sources.”
(6 November 2008)
Energy agency forecasts oil reaching $200
Robin Pagnamenta, UK Times
Global oil production is set to sputter by 2010, with a lack of fresh investment and the depletion of oil fields likely to trigger another big spike in prices, the International Energy Agency said yesterday.
In its 2008 World Energy Outlook, the Paris-based IEA predicted a 45 per cent increase in global primary energy demand by 2030, with about half of the total coming from China and India. But despite this surging demand, it said that production of crude oil would struggle “as almost all the additional capacity from new fields is offset by declines at existing fields”.
In the report, which will be published next week, the IEA said that conventional crude production would only increase by about five million barrels a day by 2030, up from 84 million in 2007 but predicted that total global oil production would increase to 106 million barrels a day by 2030.
However, the bulk would come not from conventional crude but from costly new technologies, such as the conversion of natural gas into liquid fuels, or the processing of Canada’s bitumen-rich sands into synthetic crude.
(7 November 2008)
Peak Oil: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide From Higher Oil Prices
Keith Johnson, Environmental Capital, Wall Street Journal
What does it say when the normally conservative International Energy Agency is even gloomier than already depressed markets? That this autumn’s relatively cheap oil is likely a flash in the pan—and that triple-digit oil will soon be a permanent fixture again.
… An investment slowdown just aggravates an already bad situation.
To wit: Even steady investment in new upstream oil projects outside of OPEC would be hard-pressed to keep the world awash in oil, the bank says. Unlike previous production slumps—like in the early 1990s, when Russia was quavering—several countries are simultaneously facing Sisyphean tasks to keep oil production from floundering, including the U.K., Mexico, and even Brazil, where deep-water oil fields are proving much trickier and much more expensive than expected to exploit.
That’s the main reason oil prices spiked this year. And it’s the main reason oil prices will head north again despite the slowdown, Barclays says …
In other words, peak oilers, you may be back in business. For the rest of you, business as usual may be a thing of the past.
(6 November 2008)