Sunday, 17 February 2008

Oil crisis is (almost) here

It wasn't more than a year ago when the Energy Crunch or Oil Crisis discussion could have been divided into two camps: the market fundamentalists saying 'Don't worry - everything will be alright' and the energy analysts (and peak oilers) saying 'Brace for impact - too late to act now'.

Well, what is the situation now?

Peak Oil Camp

TOD: "World total liquids production remains on a peak plateau since 2006 and is forecast to fall off this peak plateau in 2009."
ASPO: "The Second Half now dawns, and being characterised by falling supply, effectively removes the collateral for debt."

Market Fundamentalists

CERA: "Action needed to avoid oil crisis"
IEA: "Global energy system is on an increasingly unsustainable path. There will be growing tightness in oil and gas markets."

The common theme is obvious: we are heading for an oil crunch soon. Only the explanations differ. For peak oilers this is a beginning of an end of the oil age. For the fundamentalist, this is a temporal hiccup, due to bad capacity planning.

Whatever the reasons, the oil crisis is (almost) here. It may be due to peak oil of the below ground variety or perhaps not yet. Time will tell. However, that will probably not comfort the average oil/gasoline consumer in the short run.

You can't say you weren't warned...