Nogmaals: Hitting the Wall     (31 juli 2007)

Onlangs werd door de National Petroleum Council, waarin mensen als Lee Raymond - ex Exxon-Mobil baas - zitting hebben een opmerkelijk stuk gepubliceerd waarin eveneens werd gewaarschuwd voor een tekort aan olie.  En dat is uit die koker zeer opmerkelijk.  Immers: Tot voor kort was dat bij deze club zo ongeveer anathema.  Ik citeer:

Given such relative pessimism within the oil industry, the NPC committee concluded that "it is a hard truth that the global supply of oil and natural gas from the conventional sources relied upon historically is unlikely to meet projected 50-60 percent growth in demand over the next 25 years." There's probably enough oil in the ground, the NPC says, but there are other, more important constraints: the technical difficulty of extracting what remains, political instability in countries such as Nigeria, reluctance or inability to extract oil faster in places such as Mexico and Venezuela, and the challenge of assembling the required human and financial resources(cursiveringen door mij E.W.)

Ook is er een interim rapport van de zijde van het International Energy Agency verschenen dat in de zelfde richting wijst.  In aanvuling op wat ik er al reeds over schreef zet ik hieronder nog wat extra materiaal neer.  Ook zet ik onder 'reacties' een stukje uit Science van 27 juli 2007 neer.

Wellicht ga ik hier op enig moment een 'poll' openen waarin men de te verwachten olieprijs kan aangeven ...

Mazzel & broge, Evert

National Petroleum Council
Stuk over mid term IEA rapport
Mid term IEA rapport (pdf file, 1.8 Mb) 
Een commentaar in Financial Times

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Science 27 July 2007: 437

Even Oil Optimists Expect Energy Demand to Outstrip Supply

Comment on the recent reports by the IEA and the NPC, that warn about tightening oil supplies in the coming years. The good news is, you do not need to know how much is still left in the ground. The bad news: demand will grow so fast that any supply will soon be insufficient.

Richard A. Kerr

There are at least a trillion barrels of oil left in the ground to feed the world's appetite for liquid energy, maybe 2 or 3 trillion. Forecasters disagree about when drillers will first fail to deliver all the oil the world wants. Some say that crisis will come in the next decade, some by midcentury. Last week, a federally commissioned report warned that, although the world is not running out of oil, the United States must ambitiously develop additional sources of liquid energy in the next 25 years. Oil alone will not suffice. And a second recent report foresees oil supplies tightening by as early as 2010.

A root problem, everyone agrees, is the rapidly growing demand for energy. Last week's report (www.npc.org) from the federally chartered National Petroleum Council (NPC) starts with the prospect of a 50% to 60% increase in demand for oil by 2030. That's about the percentage by which world production has increased in the past 25 years. But meeting increased demand will be harder this time. The volume of oil required will be 35% greater than what was produced in the previous 25 years; that's more oil than consumed throughout human history up to 2005. And the easiest oil to extract has by now been produced.

The NPC report committee--headed by Lee Raymond, retired chair of Exxon Mobil--compiled forecasts from a dozen energy consulting firms and international oil companies. The forecasts span a range from about 80 million barrels per day in 2030 to about 135 mb/d (see figure). All but one fell short of meeting the expected 50% demand increase. The average of the dozen fell 10 mb/d short of the U.S. Energy Information Administration's forecast for 2030. And the lowest oil company forecast in the study equaled that from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, which shows world production peaking by 2015 and then starting to decline by 2020 in a crisis of global proportions.

Given such relative pessimism within the oil industry, the NPC committee concluded that "it is a hard truth that the global supply of oil and natural gas from the conventional sources relied upon historically is unlikely to meet projected 50-60 percent growth in demand over the next 25 years." There's probably enough oil in the ground, the NPC says, but there are other, more important constraints: the technical difficulty of extracting what remains, political instability in countries such as Nigeria, reluctance or inability to extract oil faster in places such as Mexico and Venezuela, and the challenge of assembling the required human and financial resources.

Surprisingly, the 40-page executive summary does not mention OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Energy analyst David Greene of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee sees that as "a huge blind spot" for the NPC. Although he agrees that there's lots of oil left in the world, the lion's share lies under OPEC member countries. Organizations such as "the International Energy Agency [IEA], Exxon Mobil, and others have predicted that by 2010 everybody outside of OPEC will find it almost impossible to increase production," he says, because the remaining non-OPEC oil is not abundant enough.

The IEA re-emphasized that conundrum in its Medium-Term Oil Market Report (omrpublic.iea.org/mtomr.htm) released 9 July. Although a spurt of non-OPEC production will bring some relief over the next couple of years, the report says, by 2012 the oil market will be "extremely tight" as planned OPEC and non-OPEC production fail to stay ahead of rising demand. "It is abundantly clear that if the path of demand does not change on its own [by 2011]," says the report, "it may well be driven to change by higher prices."