Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage.

Pourquoi le Pentagone est pessimiste

Matthieu Auzanneau, Oil Man (blog), Le Monde (France)
Crépuscule dans le désert, le livre réquisitoire d’un banquier du pétrole texan qui suggère que l’Arabie Saoudite surestime ses capacités futures de production de pétrole, est l’une la source décisive de deux rapports récents du Pentagone envisageant des pénuries de pétrole « sévères » à partir de 2012 et jusqu’en 2015 au moins, ai-je appris auprès du département de la défense américain.

Selon l’analyse développée dans Crépuscule dans le désert, les chiffres officiels publiés par la Saudi Aramco, la compagnie pétrolière nationale saoudienne, surestiment fortement le montant réel des réserves que la première puissance mondiale du pétrole est encore capable d’extraire de son sol. Conséquence, d’après Matthew Simmons : les extractions saoudiennes n’augmenteront plus, et pourraient même être sur le point de décliner brutalement.

L’état-major de l’armée américaine semble indiquer qu’il juge les craintes de M. Simmons fondées sinon crédibles, lorsqu’il reconnaît faire reposer sur elles le pronostic d’une « crise énergétique sévère » potentiellement « inévitable ».
(13 November 2010)
French journalis Matthieu Auzanneauwrites us:
“Here is a new scoop I’m publishing today. It states that the crucial source for the Joint Operating Environments (JOE2008 and JOE2010) from the U.S. military is Matt Simmons’s book “Twilight in the Desert”. I’m afraid I don’t have the time to translate into English”

If anyone is inspired to translate the article into English, send it to us at energybulletin AT postcarbon DOT org and we will forward it to Matthieu (SEE NOTE BELOW)

UPDATE (November 16, 2010). We received a translation of the article which we have forwarded to Matthieu. I think he will put it on his Le Monde blog. I will probably post excerpts from the article on Energy Bulletin. Matthieu needs to get people to visit his blog, since that is how he is able to get money to finance his good work.


Is ‘Peak Oil’ Behind Us?

John Collins Rudolf, Green Blog, New York Times
Peak oil is not just here — it’s behind us already.

That’s the conclusion of the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based organization that provides energy analysis to 28 industrialized nations. According to a projection in the agency’s latest annual report, released last week, production of conventional crude oil — the black liquid stuff that rigs pump out of the ground — probably topped out for good in 2006, at about 70 million barrels per day. Production from currently producing oil fields will drop sharply in coming decades, the report suggests.

The agency does not see energy doom on the horizon, however. By its estimation, after a short dip in production, crude production will reach an “undulating plateau” of about 68 million barrels per day between 2020 and 2035.

Yet strong demand growth from China, which the report estimates is now the world’s largest energy user, and elsewhere will require liquid energy supplies to not just hold steady, but to climb by more than 20 percent.

Meeting that additional demand will fall entirely on unconventional oil sources like Canada’s tar sands as well as increased production of natural gas liquids.
(14 November 2010)

Peak Oil: Not if but when
Tom Washington, 2SER
Each year the world’s oil consumption grows. And as consumption grows, so do fears of shortages and rocketing petrol prices.

According to the International Energy Agency, the planet’s oils fields are already in decline – meaning that oil production is about to peak before significantly falling behind demand.

The question is therefore not ‘if’ we’ll run out of oil – but ‘when’.

2SER’s Tom Washington spoke to one of the world’s leading peak oil authorities, Professor Kjell Aleklett, about the issue. (AUDIO AT SITE)
(13 November 2010)

Oil Scene: Energy world facing unprecedented uncertainty

Syed, Rashid Husain, Arab News
WHEN Fatih Birol speaks, the world listens. And when he lets his annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) speak, it is taken all the more seriously, as this is regarded as the almanac of the energy world, which is anxiously and eagerly awaited all around.

No different was the scenario at the Edwardian I Conference room of the Crown Plaza Hotel in London on Tuesday, Nov. 9, while this much-awaited annual report was unveiled by Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), in the presence of Birol, the report’s chief author.

The focus of WEO 2010 was clearly on two issues: the emerging, dominant role of China in the global energy equation and the faltering climate battle.

… The energy world continues to be in a flux and uncertainties would continue to plague this sector, one could say without fear of denial. To a great extent, good old friend Fatih Birol also seems to be conceding, while letting the WEO to talk on his behalf. We are in for a turbulent ride.
(13 November 2010)

The age of cheap oil is over

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, New Statesman
We are now inhabiting a ‘post-peak’ world. That is the implication of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) new report, World Energy Outlook 2001, which in its 25-year ‘New Policies Scenario’ projects that it is most probable that conventional crude oil production “never regains its all-time peak of 70 million barrels per day reached in 2006.” In this scenario, crude oil production is most likely to stay on a plateau of around 68-69 million barrels per day.

The IEA blames a number of factors for this – a combination of supply constraints due to below-ground geological resource limits, and above-ground factors such as political obstacles to fully exploiting existing reserves (such as in Iraq), as well as international commitments to reducing fossil fuel emissions to meet climate targets.

So is this the end of industrial civilization as we know it? Not quite. Or perhaps, not yet. Despite the peak of conventional oil production, the IEA concludes that total growth in liquid fuels from other unconventional sources – such as tar sands, oil shale and natural gas liquids – will continue to make-up for the short-fall in crude until around 2035. But while this means there will be no imminent fuel shortages as such, it also means, in the words of IEA chief economist Fatih Birol, “The age of cheap oil is over.”

The problem is that unconventional sources of oil and gas are far more expensive to get out of the ground and

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development. His latest book is A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Pluto, 2010). He blogs at The Cutting Edge.
(12 November 2010)

Peak Oil Finally Piquing Analysts?

Bill Chameides, Huffington Post
According to a new report: We need to put a carbon price on oil to keep the price of oil down.

You know how the climate-denier politicians love to warn the public that any climate legislation will increase energy costs and destroy our economy? A recent report pokes some holes in that reasoning. The authors of the report? None other than the International Energy Agency or IEA.

The IEA is an intergovernmental organization originally set up to provide energy analysis to its 28 member governments in the wake of the 1973-74 oil crisis. One of its main tasks is to produce an annual report on the state of global energy — it’s called the World Energy Outlook. If you’re an energy wonk, and who isn’t these days, it’s pretty heady stuff, filled with cool facts and figures about what has happened and predictions based on economic and energy models about what is likely to happen.

… IEA Jumps on the ‘Peak Oil’ Wagon in 2008

IEA’s about-face began two years ago when, in a departure from its typically confident projections for petroleum supply, the organization reported that fields were declining at double the rate of earlier projections and projected that conventional oil would peak in 2030. Previously, the idea that oil supplies might one day peak had been “dismissed,” to quote one reporter referring to IEA’s 2005 report. The IEA’s executive director even went on record referring to those concerned about peak oil as “doomsayers.” Not so anymore … especially for petroleum — the scarcest of fossil fuels. By some reports it took a whistle-blower at the IEA to get the agency to fess up about impending oil shortages. But that was a couple of years ago. Flash forward to 2010.

IEA Bids Farewell to Cheap Oil This Year

IEA’s three-volume, 700-plus-page outlook for 2010 is hot off the presses, and one of its major conclusions [pdf], once again, is that the age of cheap oil is behind us. It’s a perfect storm headed our way — a steady rise in global demand for oil crashing up against an increasingly limited supply of economically recoverable oil.

is Dean of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment
(11 November 2010)

Oil Falls the Most in Three Weeks on Speculation China May Increase Rates

Mark Shenk, Bloomberg
Oil fell the most in more than three weeks on speculation China will raise interest rates, curbing demand growth in the world’s biggest energy-consuming country.

Futures slipped 3.3 percent after Chinese stocks tumbled on a report yesterday that showed consumer prices climbed 4.4 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace since 2008. China’s central bank may increase rates within weeks, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“Anything that provides evidence of a slowing Chinese economy is likely to be reflected in oil-demand estimates,” said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Washington. “It would also tend to moderate bullish views for where oil prices will be in 2011.”
(12 November 2010)