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World oil demand to fall far more than thought

David Sheppard and Joshua Schneyer, Reuters
World oil demand is forecast to fall this year by much more than previously expected, as growth stalls in emerging powerhouses China and India and fuel consumption declines in the developed world.

Estimates see oil growth re-emerging in 2010, but analysts remain divided about how severe this year’s demand contraction will be, as the short-term global economic outlook remains clouded.

The latest Reuters poll of 11 analysts, banks and industry groups shows oil consumption will decline by an average of 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2009 to 84.10 million bpd.
(29 April 2009)

Oil and the lucky country

Cameron Leckie, On Line Opinion
Australia has a reputation as being the “lucky country”. I am a firm believer that “luck” is simply where preparation meets opportunity. In other words, being lucky is no accident. If we are to remain the “lucky country” however, we need to adapt as circumstances change. Nowhere is this more pertinent than in adapting to Australia’s future oil supply.

Before we start considering this issue, it is vitally important to understand why energy is so important to our economy. Energy is important because it allows us to do work. Work is important because it is the basis of all economic activity. So the more energy we have, the more work that can be done and the greater the level of economic activity. If we continue to expand the amount of energy that is available then so too will the level of economic activity, resulting in what we call growth.

Of course, the opposite situation is also true. If the available energy declines, the amount of work that can be done declines as does economic activity. The result is economic contraction or what is commonly called a recession or depression.

Oil just happens to be both Australia’s and the world’s primary energy source. With this in mind, let’s have a look at Australia’s likely future oil supply.

Chart one details ABAREs projection for Australian oil consumption and Geoscience Australia’s predictions of Australian oil production. The chart shows that Australia will become increasingly dependant upon oil imports, potentially reaching a reliance of 85 per cent by 2025.

Cameron Leckie has a Bachelor Science and a Graduate Diploma in Education. Employment experience includes a range of management positions both in Australia and overseas in the telecommunications industry. He is a member of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO Australia). Since finding out about peak oil in 2005, he has written extensively on the topic and in particular, its impact on the aviation industry.
(30 April 2009)

Book Review: Oil 101

Robert Rapier, The Oil Drum
Oil 101, by Morgan Downey, is without a doubt the most detailed and comprehensive book I have ever read on the oil industry. In fact, I am not aware that another book like this even exists. This is not an opinion piece, nor is it a peak oil book. It is a collection of factual information covering all aspects of the industry. From oil in the ground to product in the tanks (and everything in between) – this book contains everything you could ever want to know about the industry. I like to think I know quite a bit about different areas of the industry, but I still managed to learn a lot from this book.

It doesn’t matter if you are a complete novice or already know quite a bit about the industry; there is something for everyone in this book. Downey displays a deep understanding across all sectors of the industry. For instance, if I didn’t know better I would have guessed that the refining chapter was written by someone who had spent an entire career in the refining industry. The only books on refining that I have read that were more comprehensive were those written specifically as technical guides for running a refinery. Other areas are covered in similar detail.
(28 April 2009)