Now watch closely what is going on here:
On one side Claude Mandil (head of IEA) and Klaus Töpfer (head of the UNEP) warn about global energy crisis due to the dependence of oil and the latest development on the oil markets.
On the other side OPEC moves to calm fears by re-iterating that tey will outpace the rising demands by growing production. OPEC is claiming the supply problem is an issue created by the downstream side: recieving ports and refining facilities haven’t been scaled up enough in the early past. In fact OPEC even estimates it will almost double it’s production of 37.9 million barrels per day to 58.3 mb/d (see page 12 of this report) within the next 20 years. The projected worldwide production of oil in this period is claimed to raise fom 81.0 mb/d today to 114.6 mb/d. In their words (page 13):
Concern over an impending oil crisis because of a shortage of resources, even over the coming decade, continues to be voiced in some quarters. Indeed, conventional global oil production is projected by some analysts to peak as soon as 2010. Such messages, that the world is “running out of oil”, continue, however, to be strongly criticized by energy economists. The estimates of the ultimately recoverable reserves (URR) have been increasing over time, for example, from just 0.6 trillion barrels throughout the 1940s, rising to 2 tr b in the 1960s and 1970s, up to the most recent mean assessment by the US Geological Survey (USGS) of 3.3 tr b. These increased estimates are due to the availability of improved data, as well as technological improvements.
The last four estimates of the URR by the USGS have seen consecutive rises. At each point in time of those estimates, since the mid-1980s, the cumulative production, as a percentage of the estimated resource base, has been relatively stable, at just under 30 per cent.
This debate concerns the interplay between geology, technology and economics. The “peakers” point to the turning point for production being reached when around 50 per cent of the URR has been produced, assuming symmetric growth and a decline in production; the repeated revision of the size of the resource base has made this point recede further and further into the future. Technology also continues to blur the distinction between what is considered ‘conventional’ and ‘non-conventional’ oil. It is in this sense that the very concept of a resource limit is regarded as misleading. Although the figures that are estimated for the resource base need to be interpreted with caution, due to the existence of many associated uncertainties, it is nevertheless considered a sound conclusion that the oil reserves are sufficient to satisfy world oil demand growth over the projection period.
So in other words:
According to the OPEC the reasons for the »peak oil« debate a matter of false models used by »peakers« to project the peaking of worldwide production. You might also cynically conclude, that the peak oil hype may also be a artificial debate kept alive by some that have a strong interest in very high oil prices. And in fact this would brilliant example of dialectic marketing: create a meme about supply shortages in near future, call it »peak oil« and you’ll get a better profit on the oil market. At least OPEC is not arguing there won’t be a peak at all – they just claim it won’t happen in the next 20 years.
Draw your own conclusions.
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