Peak Oil is back with a Vengence

One of the most misleading tropes of recent years is that ‘peak oil is dead‘, underlined by the closing of the Oil Drum blog.  Fracking seemed to supply endless cheap gas to the US, poil production in the US increased in the US for the first time in decades, fracking was on the ascended as was oil shale, there was even talk of Saudi America.

Yet the uncomfortable truth is that costs of oil production have increased, revenues have not and neither have oil prices, increasing oil company dents and squeezing profits. 

The peak oil theory was not that oil was running out but that cheap easy to extract oil was running out, hence new sources would be more expensive to extract with lower profits.   The industry is very vulnerable to a globaal supply shock that might come from a major conflict.

Even more worryingly is that the unexploited reserves might never economically be exploited, with solar rapidly of the reaching past grid parity.  That mean that oil company debts might be unpayable and their stock could be a huge bubble.  According to the Trillion fund 20-30% of pension fund savings are in carbon fuel based stocks.

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About andrew lainton

International Urban Planner

Posted on August 12, 2014, in urban planning. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Solar energy generators do not return the total energy used in their manufacture, construction and maintenance. EROEI. Using the economic argument only highlights the author’s ignorance.

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