Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Supply and Demand

  • Peak oil is a fact: Sure, there's plenty of oil out there, but we'll never be able to make any more of it per day than we are right now (approx. 85 million barrels). What's more, we'll soon be making a lot less of it, as existing fields get depleted.
  • Barring a collapse of the global economy, the sky's the limit for oil prices--maybe $500 a barrel.
  • Given the world's dependency on oil, a global economic collapse is likely.
  • This is a fundamental supply/demand issue, speculators irrelevant (contributes $10-$15, max).
  • Oil now dropping to $70? "Keep dreaming."
Global oil production is now declining, from 74 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time demand will increase 14%. (India/China economic booms?)

This is equivalent to a 33% drop in 7 years. No one can reverse this trend, nor can we conserve our way out of this catastrophe. Because the demand for oil is so high, it will always be higher than production; thus the depletion rate will continue until all recoverable oil is extracted.

Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment.