Starvid wrote:We already know that demand will grow strongly, and it doesn't mean anything if this growth happens in an oil exporting country which then effectively stops exporting, or if the same growth happens in an already importing country. As oil is a fungible product, the effect will be exactly the same.
But what effect will be exactly the same? World or country?
World oil production, yes, it will be declining at some rate. World oil supply/demand shortfall consequently will be increasing at some rate. That high level of detail is of limited practical use however, beyond saying that the world on aggregate has a problem.
Regional trade, no.
The problem is, averaged world statistics while interesting from an academic point of view, are not going to be what gets people excited. When a nation is demonstrably losing out at a multiple of the world average, that
is what will make headlines - not the world picture, not for many years yet. Export Land tells you what shortage of foreign exchange or imported resources a specific country may suffer, and that gets political fast. It is detail that the general peak oil theory by itself does not provide. Peak oil is directly relevant of course, but because of its accumulated baggage and dry science, it will probably be a background reference once resource nationalism kicks off in earnest.
I think around 2010, the first Export Land effects from Mexico and Russia will be on the front page of the Guardian, and the global picture will still be absent except as a footnote or Comment. As with the global warming debate, people take an interest in their country's share first, the world picture second. That may be a sad comment on humanity and a poor survival strategy, but politics being what they are, I can say with confidence that is what we will see. This is why Export Land is important - it is the framework for those first self-interested discussions. In the news stakes, Mexico or Venezuela ending exports to the US, or Russia reducing exports to the EU, will beat a 3% world decline that year.
Starvid wrote:I don't see the use of breaking out individual countries exports from total exports, or indeed from the total supply.
Talking about imports and exports instead of global supply and demand just clouds the issue, in my opinion.
And so where geopolitical self-interest enters the picture, this in fact becomes the key question. Production, consumption and shortage can be summed, but their distribution will be politically and economically important.
pstarr wrote:I take it you to mean that some capital expenditure (on the polymer plant?) should tell us that some amount of petroleum will heretofore be diverted as a particular industrial feedstock (polymer) rather than remain an internationally traded commodity. Consequence is it is essentially lost to the markets? Is that the connection?
Yes, you could put it that way. Once a raw material exporter decides to go into a value-added product business domestically, it means someone else's value-added product business is deprived of the formerly exported raw material, and that other party no longer benefits from said addition of value. If on top of that the product is consumed domestically as well, it is lost to former consumers who no longer enjoy access, and it doesn't figure on shipping manifests any more. By way of example, this sheds light on one reason why there is no point building new refinery capacity in the US. Oil exporters would be doing themselves a favour, maximising revenue and creating high-value jobs, by refining at source and shipping the product.
pstarr wrote:It tells us what petroleum essentially disappears. from the system and is not measured by ship-counters and market weenies
Yes, it becomes oil the importers never see, and frankly the effect would play out even if world oil production did not immediately decline.
MD wrote:I'd just like to see booked and pending orders from all the major powerplant builders world-wide.
what a tale that would tell, I'm sure.
I agree, and that kind of data will have been assembled somewhere. No doubt those with a professional interest in the shaping of the future already study it.