Thursday, 18 November 2010

Peak Oil Taskforce warns on impact of BP oil spill

The UK-based Peak Oil Taskforce, which includes Virgin, Arup, B&Q, Kingfisher, Solarcentury, Buro Happold, Scottish and Southren and Stagecoach, has just published a briefing note on what the BP oil spill at the Macondo well means for global oil production and for the UK.

The output of this well would have been minuscule compared to global oil demand, despite the havoc it wreaked in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the knock-on effect is that the increased regulation and safety procedures for deep-water oil production will slow down development of future deep-water oil fields. These changes are clearly needed to improve safety, but an unintended result is that oil supplies will not grow as much as previously forecast in the coming years. The report sums it up:

The Taskforce sees very major consequences of rising oil prices in the next few years. Without a strong and coordinated response from Government to protect the UK economy and society from rising prices, we will see the cost of travel, food, heating and retail goods rise which will impact British businesses and citizens alike. We also need to see much quicker action from Government to support the introduction of renewable energy technology and energy efficiency measures.

The Taskforce would like to work with the Government to develop a contingency plan that both addresses the risks of Peak Oil and speeds up our transition to a low-carbon economy.

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Friday, 12 November 2010

IEA World Energy Outlook 2010

This week the IEA published its World Energy Outlook for 2010.  The most interesting sentence is probably “Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68-69 mb/d, by 2020, but never regains its all-time peak of 70mb/d reached in 2006.” So, they're basically admitting that peak oil has come and gone, at least for conventional oil.

Of course, there is still growing supply from unconventional sources, but the net energy, or EROEI, of these sources is lower, so it won't be long before we pass the peak of all energy supplies, if we haven't already.

You can read some critical analysis of the WEO2010 at The Oil Drum and ODAC.


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