Saturday, January 11, 2014

Peak Oil Is Dead. Long Live Peak Oil!

A drilling rig near Kennedy, Texas. (Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay) Click to enlarge.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the Paris-based research arm of the major industrialized powers, recently made clear that much of the talk of a perpetual gusher of American shale oil is greatly exaggerated.  The exploitation of those shale reserves may delay the onset of peak oil for a year or so, the agency’s experts noted, but the long-term picture “has not changed much with the arrival of [shale oil].”

The IEA’s take on this subject is especially noteworthy because its assertion only a year earlier that the U.S. would overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s number one oil producer sparked the “peak oil is dead” deluge in the first place.  Writing in the 2012 edition of its World Energy Outlook, the agency claimed not only that “the United States is projected to become the largest global oil producer” by around 2020, but also that with U.S. shale production and Canadian tar sands coming online, “North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030.”

What a change a year can make.

Peak Oil Is Dead. Long Live Peak Oil!

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