Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Inconvenient Talk

From Canada's The Walrus an assessment of a talk being given by Dave Hughes regarding Peak Oil. Read it....and note this:

Two weeks after you ride along with Dave Hughes for Talk No. 155, though, the IEA releases the latest edition of its annual World Energy Outlook, which predicts a global oil production peak or plateau by 2030. In a video that appears online soon after, the Guardian’s George Monbiot requests a more precise figure from the IEA’s chief economist, Fatih Birol. The official estimate, he confesses, is 2020. Monbiot also inquires as to the motivation for the IEA’s sudden about-face, and Birol explains dryly that previous studies were “mainly an assumption.” That is, the 2008 version was the first in which the IEA actually examined hard data, wellhead by wellhead, from the world’s 800 largest oil fields. Monbiot asks, with understandable incredulity, how it was that such a survey hadn’t been conducted previously. Birol’s response: “In fact, nobody has done that research. And the research we have done this year is the first in the world, and this is the first publicly available data in that respect."

An estimate of a peak oil date of 2020, that is only 11 years, barely a decade, from now.

Referring to a conversation with an exploration manager from Alberta:

What stays with you, though, is something he said earlier on. “People take it for granted,” he told you, “that they can go to the gas station and fill it up. I don’t think in two or three years that’s something you’ll be able to take for granted. I really don't."

We are truly between a rock and a hard place.

1 comment:

The North Coast said...

David Hughes might be too optimistic. Kenneth Deffeyes and Colin Campbell both state that we are at peak, Deffeyes claiming that the peak occurred on 2005 and we are now on the "bumpy plateau", the period in which production plateaus for an indefinite period, characterized by extreme volatility in prices, which spike sharply at even minor disruptions, and dip sharply due to "demand destruction" that occurs when high prices skewer the economy and cause drops in demand.

I'm inclined to believe that we've hit the bumpy plateau, and we can only hope it can be prolonged for a decade or so by ramping up the construction of nuclear power plants and practicing such efficiencies and personal conservation as we can. Our policy makers have their head stuck deep in the sand, so we have to find our own way out here. An administration dedicated to reviving the dead carcasses of the housing and auto industries as a solution to our current economic problems will be of no assistance to us in making the transition to lower energy use and the adjustments in our lifestyles and creation of new technologies that will make it possible for us to continue to live a few notches above poverty.