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Posted: 8/2/2009 3:13:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 3:14:51 PM EST by glockO]
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August 3, 2009
Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Catastrophic shortfalls threaten economic recovery, says world's top energy economist

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago. On top of this, there is a problem of chronic under-investment by oil-producing countries, a feature that is set to result in an "oil crunch" within the next five years which will jeopardise any hope of a recovery from the present global economic recession, he said.

In a stark warning to Britain and the other Western powers, Dr Birol said that the market power of the very few oil-producing countries that hold substantial reserves of oil – mostly in the Middle East – would increase rapidly as the oil crisis begins to grip after 2010.

"One day we will run out of oil, it is not today or tomorrow, but one day we will run out of oil and we have to leave oil before oil leaves us, and we have to prepare ourselves for that day," Dr Birol said. "The earlier we start, the better, because all of our economic and social system is based on oil, so to change from that will take a lot of time and a lot of money and we should take this issue very seriously," he said.

"The market power of the very few oil-producing countries, mainly in the Middle East, will increase very quickly. They already have about 40 per cent share of the oil market and this will increase much more strongly in the future," he said.

There is now a real risk of a crunch in the oil supply after next year when demand picks up because not enough is being done to build up new supplies of oil to compensate for the rapid decline in existing fields.

The IEA estimates that the decline in oil production in existing fields is now running at 6.7 per cent a year compared to the 3.7 per cent decline it had estimated in 2007, which it now acknowledges to be wrong.

"If we see a tightness of the markets, people in the street will see it in terms of higher prices, much higher than we see now. It will have an impact on the economy, definitely, especially if we see this tightness in the markets in the next few years," Dr Birol said.

"It will be especially important because the global economy will still be very fragile, very vulnerable. Many people think there will be a recovery in a few years' time but it will be a slow recovery and a fragile recovery and we will have the risk that the recovery will be strangled with higher oil prices," he told The Independent.

In its first-ever assessment of the world's major oil fields, the IEA concluded that the global energy system was at a crossroads and that consumption of oil was "patently unsustainable", with expected demand far outstripping supply.

Oil production has already peaked in non-Opec countries and the era of cheap oil has come to an end, it warned.

In most fields, oil production has now peaked, which means that other sources of supply have to be found to meet existing demand.

Even if demand remained steady, the world would have to find the equivalent of four Saudi Arabias to maintain production, and six Saudi Arabias if it is to keep up with the expected increase in demand between now and 2030, Dr Birol said.

"It's a big challenge in terms of the geology, in terms of the investment and in terms of the geopolitics. So this is a big risk and it's mainly because of the rates of the declining oil fields," he said.

"Many governments now are more and more aware that at least the day of cheap and easy oil is over... [however] I'm not very optimistic about governments being aware of the difficulties we may face in the oil supply," he said.

Environmentalists fear that as supplies of conventional oil run out, governments will be forced to exploit even dirtier alternatives, such as the massive reserves of tar sands in Alberta, Canada, which would be immensely damaging to the environment because of the amount of energy needed to recover a barrel of tar-sand oil compared to the energy needed to collect the same amount of crude oil.

"Just because oil is running out faster than we have collectively assumed, does not mean the pressure is off on climate change," said Jeremy Leggett, a former oil-industry consultant and now a green entrepreneur with Solar Century.

"Shell and others want to turn to tar, and extract oil from coal. But these are very carbon-intensive processes, and will deepen the climate problem," Dr Leggett said.

"What we need to do is accelerate the mobilisation of renewables, energy efficiency and alternative transport.

"We have to do this for global warming reasons anyway, but the imminent energy crisis redoubles the imperative," he said.

Oil: An unclear future

*Why is oil so important as an energy source?

Crude oil has been critical for economic development and the smooth functioning of almost every aspect of society. Agriculture and food production is heavily dependent on oil for fuel and fertilisers. In the US, for instance, it takes the direct and indirect use of about six barrels of oil to raise one beef steer. It is the basis of most transport systems. Oil is also crucial to the drugs and chemicals industries and is a strategic asset for the military.

*How are oil reserves estimated?

The amount of oil recoverable is always going to be an assessment subject to the vagaries of economics – which determines the price of the oil and whether it is worth the costs of pumping it out –and technology, which determines how easy it is to discover and recover. Probable reserves have a better than 50 per cent chance of getting oil out. Possible reserves have less than 50 per cent chance.

*Why is there such disagreement over oil reserves?

All numbers tend to be informed estimates. Different experts make different assumptions so it is under- standable that they can come to different conclusions. Some countries see the size of their oilfields as a national security issue and do not want to provide accurate information. Another problem concerns how fast oil production is declining in fields that are past their peak production. The rate of decline can vary from field to field and this affects calculations on the size of the reserves. A further factor is the expected size of future demand for oil.

*What is "peak oil" and when will it be reached?

This is the point when the maximum rate at which oil is extracted reaches a peak because of technical and geological constraints, with global production going into decline from then on. The UK Government, along with many other governments, has believed that peak oil will not occur until well into the 21st Century, at least not until after 2030. The International Energy Agency believes peak oil will come perhaps by 2020. But it also believes that we are heading for an even earlier "oil crunch" because demand after 2010 is likely to exceed dwindling supplies.

*With global warming, why should we be worried about peak oil?

There are large reserves of non-conventional oil, such as the tar sands of Canada. But this oil is dirty and will produce vast amounts of carbon dioxide which will make a nonsense of any climate change agreement. Another problem concerns how fast oil production is declining in fields that are past their peak production. The rate of decline can vary from field to field and this affects calculations on the size of the reserves. If we are not adequately prepared for peak oil, global warming could become far worse than expected.

Steve Connor, Science Editor





Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:14:38 PM EST
Ahhh, so that's why the price has gone down by nearly $2.00/gallon since last summer. Gasoline is so rare it's almost worthless!
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:16:43 PM EST
Sorry.
I saw the title and I'm not even going to read it.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:17:02 PM EST
Is there a term for those who constantly are wrong? ....Other than lying idiot?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:17:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:18:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 3:19:53 PM EST by m1awolf]
And so it resumes.....the bullshit and fear mongering that is.

ETA anyone see a run on oil futures coming ?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:18:43 PM EST
Capital is the key to future production. There will ALWAYS be a market for it. And therefore, capital will be available.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:18:56 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:19:49 PM EST
Why can we not get a definitive answer on what is what when it relates to oil?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:20:43 PM EST
We will never run out of oil.

The dirty little secret is that oil regenerates...it's not dependant of "fossils".
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:20:48 PM EST
If only we had visionary leaders to punish Americans for using too much oil by raising gas taxes by $1.50/gallon. THAT would SURELY fix everything.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:21:28 PM EST
If everyone stayed home for one week the price of gasoline would drop so fast maybe below $2
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:22:05 PM EST
Complete and utter bullshit.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:22:05 PM EST


Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:22:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 3:24:34 PM EST by GarandM1]

Originally Posted By nobodyg17:
Why can we not get a definitive answer on what is what when it relates to oil?

You can: Watch the price at the pump.

If the world was running out of oil you'd see gas at $8.00 a gallon. Instead the price per gallon has declined by nearly 50% since last August.

What that tells you is there is more oil available now than last year relative to demand, so the price has gone down because it's relatively more abundant.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:23:03 PM EST
Bullshit. the global scam continues.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:25:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By epnurse:
If only we had visionary leaders to punish Americans for using too much oil by raising gas taxes by $1.50/gallon. THAT would SURELY fix everything.

You want another tea party? Only this time, we dump used motor oil in the Potomac?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:28:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By john575:
Bullshit. the global scam continues.


Exactly


Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:28:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By john575:
Bullshit. the global scam continues.


This.

It really is getting old.

Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:28:41 PM EST
Due we get to do it drunk and in costumes? And can we then light it on fire. I've done thinks drunk in a costume with fire before, I highly recommend it.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:28:48 PM EST
Another article from the "Springfield Shopper"?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:36:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By Schadenfreuda:
We will never run out of oil.

The dirty little secret is that oil regenerates...it's not dependant of "fossils".



1000% agree!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:38:04 PM EST


We may or may not be there, but...

J/K
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:39:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Schadenfreuda:
We will never run out of oil.

The dirty little secret is that oil regenerates...it's not dependant of "fossils".

Still alot of disagreement about abiotic oil production.

However, having said that you're correct that we will never run out of oil: Once oil becomes scarce the price will go up, which in turn will make alternative fuels economically viable, which in turn will reduce or eliminate the demand for oil.

Free Markets work. As long as the market is allowed to respond to shortages we will never run out of any commodity.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:08:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By GarandM1:

Originally Posted By nobodyg17:
Why can we not get a definitive answer on what is what when it relates to oil?

You can: Watch the price at the pump.

If the world was running out of oil you'd see gas at $8.00 a gallon. Instead the price per gallon has declined by nearly 50% since last August.

What that tells you is there is more oil available now than last year relative to demand, so the price has gone down because it's relatively more abundant.
I don't know if the article is true, but it used facts so it should be possible to verify.

Your argument is flawed because demand is down. The U.S. is experiencing a contraction in GDP. Actual negative growth. Worldwide demand is down substantially. Just a year or two ago we had oil hitting $4.00 a gallon.

Until the recession is over and demand comes back, current pricing is meaningless.

Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:11:26 PM EST
Well the article is from the future... might be worth listening to .
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:14:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 4:27:42 PM EST by ArmyInfantryVet]
Alright, in ALL human history we haven't even consumed, what? a few billion barrels? There is something over a trillion barrels of oil left in KNOWN reserves.

I think we are still alittle safe from oil chaos right now...We got fucking PLENTY still and not even touched the tip of the iceberg.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:18:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Houstons_Problem:

Originally Posted By GarandM1:

Originally Posted By nobodyg17:
Why can we not get a definitive answer on what is what when it relates to oil?

You can: Watch the price at the pump.

If the world was running out of oil you'd see gas at $8.00 a gallon. Instead the price per gallon has declined by nearly 50% since last August.

What that tells you is there is more oil available now than last year relative to demand, so the price has gone down because it's relatively more abundant.
I don't know if the article is true, but it used facts so it should be possible to verify.

Your argument is flawed because demand is down. The U.S. is experiencing a contraction in GDP. Actual negative growth. Worldwide demand is down substantially. Just a year or two ago we had oil hitting $4.00 a gallon.

Until the recession is over and demand comes back, current pricing is meaningless.




No, current pricing is everything. Why is the price down? Because demand is down, which means oil use is down. There is more oil out there than can be consumed, so the price is dropping. If the demand continues to drop you'll see a drop in oil production, which means we'll be using less of it.

OPEC would love to sell oil at $1,000/bbl. So why don't they? Because no one would pay for it at that price, given the current situation. And if they were forced to pay that much, they'd buy something else and OPEC would be stuck with billions of barrels of overpriced oil.

Price is EVERYTHING, because in a free market it tells you what the overall supply/demand situation is. Of course the price will go up when the economy recovers –– but then the higher price will once again spur an increase in production while simultaneously reducing demand, causing the price to go down, just as it has over the past year.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:29:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 4:30:35 PM EST by fxntime]
Yep, we're almost out................thats why they keep finding new fields all the time.

I've never believed oil is "static" in the sense that what is in the ground is all that there is.

It's not that we are running out as much as we are not allowed to get at a lot of it that we know is already there. But........the Russians and Chinese will if we don't.

And I thought they told us it had peaked years ago..................

Heck, in the 20s we were supposedly running out too..............
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:32:37 PM EST
THIS COULD BE IT !!!!!

Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:35:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By fxntime:
Yep, we're almost out................thats why they keep finding new fields all the time.

I've never believed oil is "static" in the sense that what is in the ground is all that there is.

It's not that we are running out as much as we are not allowed to get at a lot of it that we know is already there. But........the Russians and Chinese will if we don't.

And I thought they told us it had peaked years ago..................

Heck, in the 20s we were supposedly running out too..............

Of all the years we've been driving around in cars, we still aren't even close to using up all of it. There is trillions of gallons of known oil left in the ground still, we've only used up a couple billion in the last 100 years. There is plenty down there to last awhile....
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:37:06 PM EST


who needs gas?


all you need is a gasinator!


Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:40:36 PM EST
Horse Hockey!

I've been a petroleum geologist for 30 years. Mark my words - Brazil. And you thought Saudi Arabia had oil...Ha!

The deep Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska are barely tapped....just get BHO and idiot dems out of the way!

Earth First, We'll Drill The Other Planets Later!!!
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:40:40 PM EST
After reading the article, I'm convinced this will be at least as bad as Y2k.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:47:53 PM EST
The article is right. We ran out of $30 a barrell oil years ago. We are going to run out of $60 a barrell oil soon, but there is nothing to worry about as there is plenty of $80 a barrell oil for the time being.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:53:04 PM EST
Is this guy the Alex Jones of the UK ?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:55:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By Keith_J:

Capital is the key to future production.


Yes.

For most countries about $84/barrel allows them to run their economies and to invest in INFRASTRUCTURE necessary to supply future oil needs. (Now Iran, Russia and Venezuela need about $104/barrel to accomplish the same thing.)

Oil prices too low are at least as dangerous to the US as oil prices too high.

Sux but there it is.


5sub
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:57:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dance:
The article is right. We ran out of $30 a barrell oil years ago. We are going to run out of $60 a barrell oil soon, but there is nothing to worry about as there is plenty of $80 a barrell oil for the time being.


Correct and..........I like the wording.



5sub
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:57:30 PM EST
havent they been saying this for nearly ever>?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:06:47 PM EST
From Wiki,



"A 2005 estimate set the total world resources of oil shale at 411 gigatons — enough to yield 2.8 to 3.3 trillion barrels (520 km3) of shale oil.[2][3][4][5] This exceeds the world's proven conventional oil reserves, estimated at 1.317 trillion barrels (209.4×109 m3), as of 1 January 2007.[22] The largest deposits in the world occur in the United States in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming; about 70% of this resource lies on land owned or managed by the United States federal government.[23] Deposits in the United States constitute 62% of world resources; together, the United States, Russia and Brazil account for 86% of the world's resources in terms of shale-oil content."

So, I did some simple calculation. The USA has about 2 trillion barrels of oil shale in reserves. Enough to power the USA for the next 600 years!

And, before everyone says oil shale is expensive and/or impossible to extract and process, Raytheon has developed an efficient process that extracts the oil at a $30 per barrel equiv.

Franklin
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:07:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By glockO:
link

"Just because oil is running out faster than we have collectively assumed, does not mean the pressure is off on climate change," said Jeremy Leggett, a former oil-industry consultant and now a green entrepreneur with Solar Century.

"Shell and others want to turn to tar, and extract oil from coal. But these are very carbon-intensive processes, and will deepen the climate problem," Dr Leggett said.

"What we need to do is accelerate the mobilisation of renewables, energy efficiency and alternative transport.

"We have to do this for global warming reasons anyway, but the imminent energy crisis redoubles the imperative," he said.




FOLLOW THE MONEY. He is a "green entrepreneur" This is "his" business. What else is he going to say? Total Crap!
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:09:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By WolfFox:
Originally Posted By glockO:
link

"Just because oil is running out faster than we have collectively assumed, does not mean the pressure is off on climate change," said Jeremy Leggett, a former oil-industry consultant and now a green entrepreneur with Solar Century.

"Shell and others want to turn to tar, and extract oil from coal. But these are very carbon-intensive processes, and will deepen the climate problem," Dr Leggett said.

"What we need to do is accelerate the mobilisation of renewables, energy efficiency and alternative transport.

"We have to do this for global warming reasons anyway, but the imminent energy crisis redoubles the imperative," he said.




FOLLOW THE MONEY. He is a "green entrepreneur" This is "his" business. What else is he going to say? Total Crap!


+1
Ding, Ding, Ding....WE have a Winner!
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:12:38 PM EST
If the world was really running out of oil, all the ecology-freaks and global warming religion zealots would be cheering. After all, no more oil means no more oil-based pollution and no more greenhouse gases.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:16:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 5:18:04 PM EST by ma96782]
Originally Posted By GarandM1:
Ahhh, so that's why the price has gone down by nearly $2.00/gallon since last summer. Gasoline is so rare it's almost worthless!


DEMAND has gone down.

And/or, perhaps a significant number of "players" have left the market.

Whatever.

Aloha, Mark


Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:17:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/3/2009 2:27:16 AM EST by Frost7]
There's more oil under Alberta than under Saudi Arabia, and there's enough oil in the Rockies to sustain us for centuries. They're just harder to get at.

World oil supplies running out = retarded bullshit, believed only by retarded people who can't be bothered to take the 10 minutes needed to completely debunk it with Google.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:42:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 7:43:09 PM EST by mnvwguy02]
Originally Posted By Zenhog:
Horse Hockey!

I've been a petroleum geologist for 30 years. Mark my words - Brazil. And you thought Saudi Arabia had oil...Ha!

The deep Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska are barely tapped....just get BHO and idiot dems out of the way!

Earth First, We'll Drill The Other Planets Later!!!



Right on.

A close reading of the article just screams lack of development of oil fields, not a lack of petroleum resources.

If drilling technology continues to advance, fields currently of little value may become available at economically reasonable prices with a decent NPV.

But it won't happen in the US unless we are willing to go and get those resources.

Edit: Spellinz


Link Posted: 8/2/2009 5:54:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By Merrell:
THIS COULD BE IT !!!!!



Look at the bright side. At least the whole global warming issue will be fixed.....no oil means no greenhouse gas....

Link Posted: 8/2/2009 7:23:15 PM EST
the illuminati will soon release their super bug. they have to kill off all but 500,000,000 of the global population in order to preserve the remaining oil supplies for their own use while having enough slaves to maintain their accustomed lifestyle.

Link Posted: 8/2/2009 7:31:49 PM EST
The only conclusion that can be drawn after reading that terrible work of fiction is that it's time to invest heavily in tinfoil.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 8:09:17 PM EST
Price boost primer. Wait till Hurricane season is in full swing.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 8:21:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 8:22:17 PM EST by thexrayboy]
Will the world run out of oil? I doubt it.

Will all the easily obtained oil be pumped and used? Eventually, perhaps most of it has already been used.

Do oil fields "regenerate"? The scientific jury is still out on that one. It's possible. One thing is certain.
the oil fields cannot "regenerate" anywhere near fast enough to keep up with demands from a roaring
and healthy world economy.

Why is the price of gas down? Two reasons......First the worlds economy sucks. That limits demand and
keeps prices down. Second.....a lot of last years insane price jumps can be attributed to market speculaition.
If speculators do next year what they did last year prices will do the same thing.....skyrocket.

Have we passed "peak oil". No way to know for sure. We will not know till well after "peak oil" has come and gone.

If the free market is allowed to operate properly then alternative substances will be found, developed and made available.
The worlds economy will suffer briefly during the energy transition but it will survive.

If those in power are allowed to operate as they generally do then life is gonna suck.
They will block new sources of energy that are efficient. They will legislate for energy sources that
are expensive, cumbersome and inefficient. And they will continue to take payola from big oil to miaintain the monoply that
the big oil companies have on energy and profit. In short......business as usual.

Will the world run out of oil completely? No.
Will the world run out of enough oil to continue operating an economy based on oil? Yes......and sooner than most will admit.

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