RIP: Peak Oil - we won't be running out any time soon
Human ingenuity wins the day
By Andrew Orlowski • Get more from this author
Posted in Environment, 23rd February 2012 12:29 GMT
The idea that seized the imaginations of the bien pensant chattering classes in the Noughties – "Peak Oil" – is no longer relevant. So says the commodities team at Citigroup, and policy-makers would be wise to examine the trends they've identified.
"Peak Oil" is the point at which the production of conventional crude oil begins an irreversible decline.
[ . . . ]
The resurgence of US gas production to well over its 1970s peak and into the number one slot globally over the last seven years is a result of hydraulic fracturing – fracking – techniques being applied to shale gas reserves across the US. The same companies are now using the same techniques on shale oil reserves, with results that in many cases look as promising as the early stages of the shale gas revolution. US oil production is now on the rise, entirely because of shale oil production, as conventional sources such as Alaska or California are structurally declining, and as Gulf of Mexico production is poised for a post-Macondo recovery.
[RIP is in the title of the article. One rule says use the title, one says RIP is reserved for dead people. Went with rule 1, hope that's right].
Anyway, I wouldn't say it's time to drop all sustainability planning just yet, but it is good to hear that we're not on the verge of collapse. Until synthetic hydrocarbons or some other form of safe, renewable energy is developed, this is a nice buffer on available oil supplies. Plus, it takes the heat off of drilling in places like ANWAR, where the value of maintaining some of the last few pristine pieces of land is a high price to pay to get another few years of leaving the lights on without caring about it.
Not that I don't like the idea of energy efficient hybrids, efficiently designed buildings, and well planned public transport -- all great ideas -- just that I like my fast v8 and I'm not ready to give it up to live in a tree just yet.