Peak Oil

Alternatives to oil



Income energy

The time at which the rate of extraction of oil from the reserves ceases to rise.

Logically, the quantity of oil in the planet's oil fields is limited. There will come a time when no new oil is being discovered. There are already reports that the oil companies have not found new fields to replace those they are depleting. At the same time the number of people wanting to burn oil is increasing rapidly as China, India and other industrialising countries develop their industry. The demand for oil is increasing while the ability to extract it from the ground and refine it is not increasing rapidly. If the point of peak oil has occurred then unless demand starts reducing (by the development of alternatives to oil) the price will increase far beyond what it has been recently ($120 per barrel - 22 April 2008).

The world economy will undergo considerable changes, as so much of it has been created with the assumption of cheap and unlimited oil supplies. Presumably the oil will have to be replaced with other energy sources, but demand will also have to be reduced, either by price or by rationing. Perhaps low density suburbs will become too expensive to live in. It is not at all clear that any alternative source of energy can be used for private transport. The automobile, and all the structures associated with it may be headed for extinction, at least on the scale it is used at present. The same may be true of much of the present aviation industry.

This article says Peak Production occurred in 2006. Many think that the rapid increase in price during 2008 is an indicator that Peak Oil has already occurred.

Robert Fisk reports that oil producers are not satisfied with being paid by a depreciating dollar (something that sparked off the 1973 oil crisis) and want to be paid in a harder currency - perhaps gold. This would mean that consumers could no longer pay for energy by simply creating more of their own currency.

Oil supply crisis may be sooner than we think.

The run away oil well in the Gulf of Mexico may show that already in April 2010 oil companies felt the need to drill for oil and gas in more and more inaccessible places but had no means of dealing with leakages into the ocan. In the long run fish from the sea is more important than the oil. Already oil is being searched for in such areas as the seas off the Falkland Islands, under seas that are notoriously subject to storms. This is a sign of desperation, as is the intention to drill off the coasts of Greenland.

All of the above would seem to have been contradicted by the following article, which surveys the new sources of oil now being found.

Peak Oil postponed George Monbiot thinks everyone was wrong about "Peak Oil". So much unconventional oil has been found that supply is going to increase for the foreseeable future and the price to come down. So, if we have been relying on higher oil prices to encourage or force solar energy soon we will be disappointed.

This means that the effects of oil in causing warming will be exacerbated. It is still necessary to reduce the output of warming gases, but the campaign to substitute solar for oil may take place in conditions of falling oil prices.

  When the Wells Run Dry

Post oil problems

 BBC Report

The Pressure mounts

Peakoil blog


Robert Fisk on currency

George Monbiot on why BP takes risks

Interesting reading

Richard Heinberg - The End of Growth

End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economics Reality
The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality
Öl-Ende: "The Party's Over" - Die Zukunft der industrialisierten Welt ohne Öl
Pétrole : la Fete Est Finie !

The Long Emergency

La fin du pétrole : Le vrai défi du XXIe siécle

Oil spills

Rise and Fall of BP

Article denies there is a problem

Last revised 4/07/12


World Info


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