Friday, November 25, 2005

Energy -- OPEC: war and peace and profiteering

Richard Kerr reports in Science (Science 18 November 2005: Vol. 310. no. 5751, pp. 1106 - 1108
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5751.1106)that the non-OPEC peak of oil production is likely to occur within the next decade (US production peaked in 1970; UK production peaked in the last few years).  OPEC production may not peak for another two or three decades, but due to the decline in non-OPEC oil, world production is likely to peak between 2015 and 2030. summary

The problem with this scenario, of course, for those of us who remember the oil embargo is that the rest of the world becomes totally dependent on OPEC.  OPEC countries have had more than their fair share of war, which tend to interfere with oil production.  So do cartels that profit from holding supply below demand to increase prices.

The trick will be finding new energy sources and encouraging conservation while world energy supply exceeds demand -- and prices stay relatively low.  We had the American public's attention when gasoline went over $ 3.  As it falls below $ 2 again, will hybrids still be hot?

Climate Change, Energy, Governance/Management, International, Physical Science | Permalink

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