Monday, December 15, 2008

'Peak Oil Theory' Demands Energy Alternatives

NPR | Plummeting gasoline and diesel prices have given consumers relief at the pump. But oil pessimists believe the current slump in demand will pass. And when it does, the world will be in the same fix it was before the global recession. The era of easy oil is behind us. According to those who believe in what's called "peak oil theory," world oil production has already peaked, or flattened, and in the foreseeable future, the declining resource will inevitably change the way we live. [...]

Matt Simmons.

"I am saying the sky is falling. If we ignore peak oil; worse, if we laugh about it, continue consuming, we will have a massive shortage," Simmons said from his office in Houston. The garrulous, 65-year-old oil-field investment banker said the world's giant oil fields are all in decline — from the North Sea to Mexico's Cantarell field.

"Energy reality, if you take off rose-colored glasses and just study data, is that crude oil in most non-OPEC countries is now in decline, and in too many countries in steep decline. Virtually all of the OPEC producers, with the exception of Angola, are really struggling to keep their production flat," he said in a recent speech to the Houston chapter of the Young Professionals in Energy.