Note: This article builds on my recent report, Prediction: Things Will Unravel Faster Than You Think. It explores the coming energy crunch in more detail by looking at existing government planning and awareness, and the implications of what international recognition of Peak Oil as early as 2012 might mean.
The hard news is that there is no “Plan B.” The future is likely to be more chaotic than you probably think. This was the primary conclusion that I came to after attending the most recent Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) in Washington, DC in October, 2010.
By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD.
- “At this time the Department has no views on [Peak Oil].
- “There is no imminent Peak Oil challenge….”
OPEC: To meet climbing global requirements, OPEC will have to increase its output from 30 MBD to at least 50 MBD. Significantly, no OPEC nation, except perhaps Saudi Arabia, is investing sufficient sums in new technologies and recovery methods to achieve such growth. Some, like Venezuela and Russia, are actually exhausting their fields to cash in on the bonanza created by rapidly rising oil prices. (p. 26)A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. (p. 28)
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