I e-mailed my local constituency MP to make her aware of the situation -
I would like to draw your attention to the matter of Peak Oil which is
going to a be a problem that affects us all. A good explanation of the
scenario and effects are explained by the attached link. The conclusions
are somewhat lurid but I find it difficult to agree with any them.http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/
I have done a lot of online research and I am of the opinion that Peak
Oil is either occuring now or will be certainly occuring sometime
within the next ten years. The recent quadrupling in oil prices would
continue as prices per barrel could reach $100/$200 a barrel. The world
would then go into the second great depression- at the moment I don't
believe there is anything that will bring us out of it. As it says on
the website the world's financial system is based on cheap oil and it
may collapse when it realises that oil is running out.
Alternative energy sources are currently nowhere near the level required
to be able to substitute for oil. I don't believe Bio-diesel is an
option as currently the return on energy invested is not good and
besides which the world needs food more than it needs fuel oil. The
Alaksan oil sands also look like an extremely poor substitute.
Would you not agree that problem dwarves all other problems that we are
facing as a country and a planet?
Without Oil & Gas we will not be able to support schools, hospitals, the
elderly , build houses or any of the basic functions that support
civilised life. Without oil I don't think the planet can support
anywhere near the current 6 billion inhabitants. In particular
fertilizer which is produced from Natural Gas is required to support the
current level of population. Ironically Peak Oil may reduce the effects
of global warming by reducing the amount of fossil fuels that we can
burn- although it may make things worse as countries may use coal to
produce petrol with increased emissions until that in turn runs out.
I believe that the Government and Opposition need to get together now to
take action immediately on this issue. Please could you let me know what
you are doing about this extremely grave situation? "
I got a reply saying she was on holiday - but a few weeks later I still hadn't got a reply so I followed up with :
"Any update on this? Since my e-mail a quick search on google news for Peak Oil displays the following headlines:
Peak-oil theory warns tank's almost emptyhttp://www.theaustra...670-643,00.html
The Australian, Australia - 11 Aug 2006
FORGET pipeline problems in Alaska. The real elephant in the corner is "peak oil". This issue is in the same category as global warming - although there is a division of opinion as to whether or not it's real, it is probably prudent to assume the worse-case option
Crisis Overload: Peak Oil, Peak Grain and Peak Waterhttp://www.counterbias.com/710.html
CounterBias.com - 4 Aug 2006
... According to Christopher Brodie, a partner at UK-based commodities hedge fund Krom River, this tussle over grain adds a Hobson's choice to the Peak Oil dilemma ...
Peak oil and fragility of global oil supplyhttp://www.kuwaittim...artid=255999417
Kuwait Times, Kuwait - 13 Aug 2006
... This involves the concept called "Peak Oil"-a shorthand way of describing a critical geological concept that you ignore at your peril. ...
BYE BYE PETROLEUMhttp://www.corporate...rg.uk/?lid=2714
Corporate Watch News, UK - 17 Aug 2006
...Colin Campbell, honorary chairman of ASPO international, began the conference with a prediction that peak oil would bring a succession of price spikes followed by global recession. He warned that current financial structures would be threatened, as the power to control money shifts, and suggested that a new era of geopolitics would emerge, with energy rich Russia ascending while energy depleted US and Europe compete with China for finite resources...http://www.resourcei...asp?relid=22303
.....In May U.S. production fell 459,000 barrels a day year on year. In May U.K. production fell 292,000 barrels a day. Mexican data saw a 150,000 barrels a day slide and statistics from Norway saw a 226,000 barrel a day fall.
For 2006 as a whole production is down by 196,000 barrels a day in the U.K. and 503,000 barrels a day in the U.S., 229,000 barrels a day in Norway and by 24,000 barrels a day in Mexico.
French company Total [NYSE:TOT] saw production - which may well rise again it is true - fall 9% year on year. BP [NYSE:BP] said it will struggle to meet its targets for 2006, 4.2 million barrels a day despite 1 million barrels a day from its venture with TNK [OTCPK:TNKBF] in Russia. Shell [NYSE:RDS-B] produced more in 2003 than it does now and the only companies who have put on big production outside of Eni [NYSE:E] in Italy have done it by buying other companies, ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP], Chevron [NYSE:CVX] and so on.......
Those were just a few of the selection. I see that John Reid suggested that we are facing "probably the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of the second world war," - we are but its Peak Oil that is threatening all of us far more than a handful of Islamic terrorists. Our prosperity, health, wealth and happiness has been based since the end of the nineteenth century on cheap oil - this is about to change and soon.
I see the current Government thinking of this is that Peak Oil is not before 2030. I seriously doubt this - Try somewhere between now and 2011-and in any case China and India's growing demand will ensure an unbridgeable supply gap well before then.
"John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate the Department has made of when global production of conventional crude oil will peak.
Malcolm Wicks: The Government's assessment of the remaining lifespan of global oil reserves is set out in the Energy White Paper 2003 "Our energy future--creating a low carbon economy". Paragraph 6.15 of the White Paper notes that "Globally, conventional oil reserves are sufficient to meet projected demand for around 30 years, although new discoveries will be needed to renew reserves. Together with nonconventional reserves such as oil shales and improvements in technology, there is the potential for oil reserves to last twice as long".
This is consistent with the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its 2004 World Energy Outlook. The IEA concludes that ". . . global production of conventional oil will not peak before 2030 if the necessary investments are made."
The Government remain committed to working with producers, consumers and the international community to improve the conditions for investment in the international oil sector, as well as implementing policies to maximise the economic recovery of the UK's own oil (and gas) reserves and to ease the UK economy away from power supplied primarily through fossil fuel supply. We are also supporting efforts to promote greater transparency in reporting of global oil reserves. "
One further piece of evidence that peak oil appears imminent. There is a website - theoildrum.com where various Geologists try to predict and analyse peak production. One thing they are concerned about is that all of the largest oil producers are starting to show declineshttp://www.theoildru...3/1416#comments
I thought that it would be interesting to compare the decline since December in world crude + condensate production to the decline in production from the top 10 net oil exporters (based on the 2004 list of top exporters).
As of the May, 2006 EIA numbers, the world is down 1.3% since December, an annual decline rate of 3.1% per year, but the top 10 oil exporters are down 3.0%, an annual decline rate of 7.2%.
Note that consumption is growing quite rapidly in most of the exporting countries, and note that in most cases domestic consumption is satisfied before oil is exported. In the captioned article, I showed, using my "Export Land" model, how a 25% drop in oil production and a 20% increase in consumption (over a five year period) would lead to a 70% drop in net oil exports.
I estimate that net oil exports from the top exporters are probably down by 4% to 5% (over a five month period), an annual decline rate of as much as 12% per year, which suggests that exports from the top exporters are falling about three to four times faster than world oil production is falling
As I have been relentlessly pointing out, I think that we are looking at a series of bidding cycles for declining net oil export capacity, with the oil going to the high bidders and with the losers having to reduce consumption. Leanan, on The Oil Drum, has documented several case histories of poorer countries having to reduce consumption. Soon, the developed and rapidly developing countries will be bidding against each other, instead of bidding against regions like Africa
On a positive note (!) the biggest hopeful are recent development is advances in solar technology: http://www.energybul....net/19262.html
We approach this news as current and former public electric utility executives, sympathetic with consumer and environmental concerns. South Africa and California technologies rely on the same alloy -- called CIGS (for copper-indium-gallium-selenide) -- deposited in an extremely thin layer on a flexible surface. Both companies claim that the technology reduces solar cell production costs by a factor of 4-5. That would bring the cost to or below that of delivered electricity in a large fraction of the world
I believe that it should shortly be mandatory that all new building developments should have as a minimum solar power for hot water tanks, and that by a certain date all new developments should also have photo-voltaic designed into them. Also any houses with gardens should have water butts to try and combat a) flooding and
You may note I haven't mentioned global warming - although I think its a serious problem - mainly due to rising sea levels. However given the fact that the effects for the UK tends to along the lines of "Future balmy Mediterranean Climate will lead to more vineyards and olive trees and UK seaside resorts becoming top tourist destination" its not really a vote winner is it?"
Yesterday I got a reply:
"Thank you for your email about 'Peak Oil'; I share your concerns about the future of our oil supply. A broad energy mix with less reliance on oil and gas would be in the best interests of the UK and the global economy.
The Government are currently conducting an energy review to update their 2003 Energy White Paper. As you might be aware, the Conservative Party is also conducting an energy review which will be an evidence-based project. The review will work alongside the Quality of Life Policy Group, set up by David Cameron and affect our environment and the quality of our lives. The energy review will be published early next year and the policy group will report in July 2007. I am more than happy to pass on your points in Consideration as part of the review.
Thank you for taking time to get in touch. It is always important for me to hear the thoughts and views of those whom I represent here in Westminster. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any further assistance."