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Thursday, April 21, 2005


Oil - Lifeblood of the Industrialized World

Are we nearing the "peak" of production ?

The Guardian,UK, (4/21/05) contains a fascinating article by John Vidal. It is based on a report prepared by Colin Campbell of the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Center. Lucid and factual, Campbell describes a scenario that is causing waves. It is a wake up call from somone who knows all that is worth knowing about the business of oil .

No, we are not going to run out of oil tomorrow or the next year. But, in Campbell's opinion we are nearing the "peak" of production.

We can forget about oil prices going back to where they were a year ago or even six months ago. Are the industrialized nations (the U.S. at the top) going to change direction and make serious attempts about conservation instead of looking for new sources of production ? Fat chance. Politicians rarely take positions that are likely to be unpopular and they need to cater to the interests of their friends in the industries that benefit from high consumption. This time, however, even the movers and shakers in the oil industry are cautious about the ability to keep pace with the exponential growth in consumption, and the dwindling oil reserves.

"But the business of estimating oil reserves is contentious and political. According to Campbell, companies seldom report their true findings for commercial reasons, and governments - which own 90% of the reserves - often lie. Most official figures, he says, are grossly unreliable: 'Estimating reserves is a scientific business. There is a range of uncertainty but it is not impossible to get a good idea of what a field contains. Reporting [reserves], however, is a political act.' "

Guardian,UK-The end of oil is closer than you think

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