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We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Are you qualified or important enough to know about Peak Oil?

I find it astounding that while the IEA (International Energy Agency) dithers, obfuscates, and turns away from facing the realities of Peak Oil it is the US Military that is being straightforward about it!

"...the US Joint Forces Command concludes:

By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD… The implications for future conflict are ominous..."

The implications for our way of life are even more ominous. Check out the rest of the article by Lionel Badal over at Seeking Alpha.

Here's some more of what the IEA is saying;
On the one hand,

"... in a recent interview to the British newspaper, The Independent[2], Dr. Birol was reported to say that the world was heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery.

The article added, “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”.

In fact, in 2008 the IEA conducted for the first time a detailed field-by-field analysis of global oil production and its findings are bleak. Asked by a journalist on what the previous analysis relied on, the Chief-Economist of the IEA admitted, “it was mainly an assumption[4]. In the 2008 World Energy Outlook (the key document on oil used by OECD countries), they have analysed about 800 fields, which account for ¾ of global reserves and more than 2/3 of global oil production. They come to the conclusion that decline rates are far higher than previously thought, between 6.7 and 8.6% a year[6]. As result, they now estimate that to maintain the current levels of oil production (about 85 MBD) by 2030 the world would need to develop and produce 45 MBD; as said by Dr. Fatih Birol, approximately four new Saudi-Arabias.

Simultaneously, they have analysed all the projects that are financially sanctioned in all the countries in the world (about 230) up to 2015. As it takes five to ten years to produce oil from a new field, they have a clear image of the coming situation. When they add all the projects together (if all of them see the light of the day – unlikely with the current credit crunch-) they will bring about 25 millions barrels per day. However, because of the important decline rates, the world will still be short of “at least” 12.5 MBD before 2015. Asked by a journalist if this means Peak Oil, Dr. Birol answered, “We are facing a serious threat

And on the other hand,

"Nevertheless, things are never clear when it comes to the IEA and Peak Oil, especially with Dr. Birol.

“Misquoted by the journalist…”

On the 27th of August, David Strahan, a British journalist, asked the IEA press office confirmation that the IEA recognised Peak Oil would happen “in about 10 years” as reported by The Independent.

Amazingly, an IEA spokesman (initially) answered:

I spoke with Fatih who said he was misquoted by the journalist…The article incorrectly made it sound that the total oil production (including unconventional oil etc.) is going to peak at that time. Taking into consideration gains from unconventional oil, oil peak will be later than 2020, more around 2030...

The first obvious question anyone would ask is: if Dr. Birol really was misquoted, why didn’t he issue an official statement when the article was published?

The answer may well be that he wasn’t really misquoted at all.....

Fatih Birol feels that the article was confusing. Concerning peak oil, his position is clear and has not changed since WEO 2008… Taking into consideration gains from unconventional oil, oil peak will be later than 2020, more around 2030….

To be sure, the Peak Oil sceptics, Daniel Yergin and Michael Lynch (who, by the way recently attacked Dr. Birol) will be delighted to hear that!....

And yet, Dr. Birol who seems to be particularly concerned about his career has become a master in playing something that could be described as a “double game” regarding Peak Oil. Depending on the moment (and most likely, the pressures he receives), he publicly admits or denies or admits or denies the seriousness of Peak Oil and its potential effects.

In June 2004 the BBC[20] supported this claim and gave additional information about who Dr. Birol really is.

In public, Mr Birol denied that supply would not be able to meet rising demand, especially from the buoyant economies in the USA, China and India. But after his speech he seemed to change his tune… When BBC News Online followed up by asking if this giant increase in production was actually possible rather than simply a desire he refused to answer. "You are from the press? This is not for you. This is not for the press."

Apparently, for Dr. Birol the (hard) truth is neither for the press nor for the public."

Meanwhile what are our leaders doing about preparing for Peak Oil....Diddly! And why not, when was the last time you heard it covered in the mainstream media? As with climate change the policy seems to be "what the people (the average Joe) don't know won't hurt us (the captains of industry)"

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