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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"undulating plateau" of oil

First of all, the first time I read this article, I thought it said "ungulating plateau," rather than "undulating plateau." Imagine my confusion...two very different meanings. Anyway...

In the article from today's Globe and Mail, Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Boston is predicting that the world is on the verge of an oil glut. Yes, that's right. We have more oil than we know what to do with.

They also suggest "oil will remain higher than $55 for the rest of the decade."

"The report also took aim at peak-oil theorists, who espouse the view that the world's oil production will hit a high, possibly as early as this year, and then decline rapidly. While no one argues that oil is anything but a finite resource, Cambridge Energy Research doesn't see a peak at all.

Instead, it projected an "undulating plateau," extending for several decades."


You can read the article here.

Any thoughts?

7 comments:

Mike said...

Lots of oil priced at peak oil prices is cold comfort. I mean, if we have a glut, shouldn't the price drop? That's Econ 101. So what they are saying is "don't worry there is lots of oil but we are going to continue to gouge you"

Nice. Now where's my biodiesel.

Mark Francis said...

The debate rages here:

http://theoildrum.blogspot.com/

This thread:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2005-06-21-oil-peak_x.htm

I have no answer, but The Oil Drum blog has been working on this exclusively and doesn't think the supply is there.

Certainly refinery capacity is not there right now.

daveberta said...

Being an Albertan, I pretty much live in an oil sustained economy. Though the economy is great, we have a wacky provincial government that would rather give away the oil at near free to the oil companies than invest royalties in communities or funds such as the Heritage Fund.

Oil glut or not. Diversification is what is needed. We cannot depend on non-renewable natural resources forever! We need to start planning for what our great-grandchildren 100 years down the line are going to have to deal with when the oil finanlly runs out. It's our responsibility to leave things better than when we got here. We're not doing that right now.

humf.. that's my rant.

daveberta said...

thanks for the link, Mark!

Prus said...

Nope, the refinery capacity isn't there. Even in ol'backwardsburd and it's 3 refinery's the demand FAR outstrips what can be made.

I had other things to say (presumably more intresting) but the fumes have killed my grey matter

Aaron said...

Ross is right. Peak oil is a myth invented by the investment banks to keep the futures prices high.

People go on and on about peak oil but neglect the role of technological advancements in terms of extraction and conservation.

Look at the oil refinery capacity which has been steadily onthe decline in the US.

Also, Oil is priced in the US dollar, and oil prices could be more an indicator of the US dollar just tanking relative to oil.

Read Chris Cook's Asia Times article: Price dollars in oil, not oil in dollars

An excerpt that's relevant:

"There has been a growing realization on the part of major oil producers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia that oil is not priced in dollars but rather dollars are priced in oil. The reality underpinning this epiphany is the fact that oil has "value", or "money's worth" - in exchange for commodities, goods and services - whereas the financial object we are accustomed to think of as the "dollar" is merely a "claim over value", or IOU issued by the US Federal Reserve Bank.

If we look at the current structure of the global energy market, we are conditioned to think that the "big bad wolf" is a "cartel" of OPEC members. However, the fact of the matter is that while there has indeed been a cartel extracting extraordinary profits from energy markets in recent years, this has consisted of intermediary investment banks and energy traders, who control the global market platform on which oil is traded and benchmark prices are set. In other words, the derivative tail has been wagging the oil market dog. "

daveberta said...

Thanks for the comments Ross and Aaron.

Aaron, I'm going to post a post about the Chris Cook article today. Thanks for the link.

I think he made a very good point about the control exerted by investment banks and energy traders that isn't widely known.