Background: The Peak Oil Media Guide

The learned folks over at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas have published a really clear, well thought-out Guide to Peak Oil by Chris Nelder. This differs from a lot of Peak-Oil stuff I’ve seen, in that it doesn’t immediately suggest arming yourself and heading for the hills. It takes a powerful message and delivers it in a calm here-are-the-facts way. Here are some of the highlights for me:

  • We are not about to run out of oil – it’l be around for a hundred years.
  • We seem to be entering a plateau in oil production, and oil production is unlikely to significantly increase from this point.
  • Following the plateau – within 3-6 years – less oil and gas will be available to feed, clothe, transport and support an increasing – and increasingly wealthy – world population.
  • New sources of “oil” – Tar Sands, Shale Oil etc. require significant energy to convert them into a relatively slow supply of usable liquid fuels. This means that they are not likely to reduce the current oil prices, and will only be economical at significantly higher prices, if at all.
  • Within 10 years we can expect to be living with 12% less oil-per-day than we currently enjoy.
  • 11 of the top 21 oil producing countries are already past their peak, and production from mature oilfields declines at around 4.5% a year. Any new discoveries have to offset this loss before they give a net increase in oil production.
  • Event the International Energy Agency, who are on the more optimistic side of energy forecasting, have dropped their forecast growth in supply, while acknowledging that demand for oil continues to grow at 1.5% a year.

It’s pretty sobering reading, albeit nothing I wasn’t already concerned about. If you’re just starting to think about peak oil, and it’s effect on you, your children and and your community then this document is a good place to learn the basics – read it and pass it on to anyone who might have an interest in the future.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] the next decade we’ll be facing real oil-supply issues that could have a critical impact on Britain’s ability to feed itself. The solution is not to […]

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