Peak Oil Struggles for Respectability in Era of New Supplies
The idea of peak oil caught the world’s imagination a decade ago. Peak oil, the point in time when the maximum rate of global oil extraction is reached, after which the rate of production would get into terminal decline, was supposed to be sometime in 2007, 2008 or 2009 — depending on who you were talking to.The peak oil mentality is a mentality of doom and defeat in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Peak oil doomers often become collapsitarians and survivalists, having given up on any possiblity that advanced societies can find their way back to prosperity. But a new age of energy supplies is upon us, and peak oilers are sputtering and struggling to talk their way out of their repeated predictions of energy depletion doom that never seem to pan out.
The most important fallout of the idea that the world was running out of oil was large investments in companies and technologies trying to make alternative energy sources viable. Oil was all but written off as a vestige of the last century.
Much of this has changed. Spectacular discoveries of conventional oil and gas in Brazil, Angola and Australia, and a huge growth in unconventional oil and gas have changed the equation on reserves. _Forbes
If gas hydrates as well as shale gas, tight oil, oil sands and other unconventional sources can be tapped at reasonable cost, then the global energy picture looks radically different than it did only a few years ago. Suddenly it appears that there may be enough accessible hydrocarbons to power industrial civilization for centuries, if not millennia, to come.Depletion has become a balky donkey to ride on, suddenly. But lifers in the peak oil movement are undaunted, and have an entire portfolio of conflicting and contradictory arguments to present, when others fail to persuade.
So much for the specter of depletion, as a reason to adopt renewable energy technologies like solar power and wind power. Whatever may be the case with Peak Oil in particular, the date of Peak Fossil Fuels has been pushed indefinitely into the future. _Salon
Negherbon said that he did not believe that the world had reached “peak oil,” but commented that future oil supplies will be harder to find and more expensive to produce.
According to his firm’s projections, Negherbon said that world oil consumption will likely rise from 2.5% to 2.8% per annum. This demand growth will mean future opportunities for deepwater development. _Offshore
Similarly, with the development of better undersea oil & gas production technologies, the cost of deepwater oil & gas production is certain to come down far below current levels. The use of robotics and advanced machine intelligence techniques in particular, will reduce the human risk factor and reduce economic costs.
The ongoing celebration of huge and economically producible deposits of shale oil & gas is like a slap in the face to US President Obama's energy starvation agenda. And Obama's government has been perversely trying to shut this economic boom down via the EPA and Interior Department.
A similar celebration over a nuclear renaissance involving abundant, clean, and safe new nuclear reactors could be taking place as well, if not for Obama's US NRC actively blocking and delaying the licensing of promising new nuclear technologies. That celebration will have to await the ejection of Obama from the White House.
Labels: peak oil