Monday, 4 February 2008

Peak Oil - Where are we now?

Peak oil is passe. Oil is down to 90 USD or so. US and the rest of the world is going slowly into recession, thus driving oil need down even further.

So, plenty of oil in the horizon and with cheap prices!

Maybe not. Let us take a quick news round up.
Shortages are here and spreading. And they are not anymore the problem of poor or war beaten African countries (Kenya, Uganda, etc.)
Looks like that oil price won't come down. Official story is that OPEC refuses to boost production. The real story behind the official one? They are boosting production, but they are just using it themselves. Export Land Model in action.
More companies are facing the reality of peak oil. When there is less oil left, you will find less, regardless how hard you look. And boy, did they look hard. Not surprisingly more and more oil CEOs and heavy weight analysts are starting to say the same thing: we are at peak or near peak.
While the official story remains: no worries, keep on consuming, plenty of oil left - we just need to invest more. Nope. The investment curves for exploration and drilling have gone through the roof in the past years and helped very little. The only areas where potential huge investments could alleviate is refining capacity match. The world is getting more of that heavy sour oil, while the refining capacity and need is for light and sweet. And this situation is not going to get better, it is going to get worse.
Wow. Biofuel hysteria is finally getting the official critical view. But fear not, it is but a mere smoke screen. Palm oil will be used, so will be soy oil and corn ethanol. Never mind that they are idiotic in energy and climate terms. But the world needs to keep running. And it runs on liquid fuels. Not just solar panels and wind turbines. Prepare to hear lots more grief on biofuels and plenty of failed starts and scrapped super projects on new ground-breaking technologies that were supposed to miraculously fix the our oil predicament.
  • Iran oil bourse scheduled
  • The Cold War Never ended - it's just coming back
  • Four Deep Sea Internet links out of use - Middle East without Internet access
Ah, the Great Game. You read the newspapers and you think the world is about solving the greenhouse gas dilemma or combating the coming recession. At the same time the pawns are being moved towards their position in the great energy game: the noose is tightening around Iran and on former Soviet Union countries - not to mention the Stans and African oil rich countries now being torn to pieces by "ethnic issues" and "civil war" (funnily enough funded and equipped by the Chinese, the French and the Americans).

So, most that was written in this blog in 2007 has pretty much come to pass and continues to do so. The world - it seems - really is a fairly simple place after all. At least on the short time span.

What's in store for 2008 and beginning for 2009?

While the lack of a working crystal ball makes it hard to know, some educated guesses can be made.

More on those in future posts.