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Peak oil is coming – it’s just a question of when

Consumption

This month marks a historic but largely forgotten moment in the history of the oil sector, and something that is unlikely to ever be repeated if forecasts for the demise of the world’s most valuable fossil fuel prove accurate.

Fifty years ago, BP — then known as British Petroleum and majority state-owned — discovered oil off the coast of Scotland in the once-mighty Forties field with the help of a £370m loan. The financing would be equivalent to £5.5bn in today’s money from the then cash-strapped government of Harold Wilson.

In its heyday during the late 1970s, the cluster of wells located 110 miles off the coast of Aberdeen were producing well over 500,000 barrels per day of high-quality crude.

The prolific field — which once made the North Sea one of the world’s most important petroleum basins — has pumped over 2.4bn barrels of oil in its lifetime and its current operator Apache believes it could still be producing in 20 years.

However, the more pertinent question the North Sea and global oil industry as a whole now face is will there still be a growing market to justify investment into producing this black gold in 2040 and beyond?

Peak demand for oil is certainly approaching but opinion is divided about the timing of its arrival. BP foresees in one of its scenarios a dramatic decline in consumption on the horizon and has warned “peak oil” is already upon us.

Its most aggressive forecast expects global demand to halve to 55m barrels per day by 2050 if governments and consumers adopt uncompromising energy transition policies to address climate change.

But BP’s doomsday estimate for the future of the oil industry isn’t universally shared by everyone. Opec, the cartel of producers led by Saudi Arabia that controls a third of the world’s oil, is more sanguine on the subject.

In its recently released World Oil Outlook, the organisation said it expected demand to only level off by 2040, with crude consumption set to peak at just over 109m barrels per day before declining gradually thereafter.

Although Opec doesn’t deny the risks of climate change, it expects major consuming countries such as China and India, along with other developing regions, to continue burning and processing fossil fuels for decades after the internal combustion engine is legislated off Europe’s roads by a barrage of carbon-reducing policies and taxes.

By comparison, S&P Global Platts Analytics in its latest forecast sees oil demand peaking at 115m barrels per day in 2041, then falling very gradually to 112m barrels per day by 2050.

“For both long-term global oil demand and supply, the impact of Covid-19 is a decided step down, but not a step change,” Platts Analytics wrote in a recent report.

“That is, not enough to alter the trajectory of the oil market; enough to meaningfully bring forward the peak in oil demand, or align oil sector CO2 emissions with a 2C warming target.”

Of course, there are many variables that could stretch out the world’s oil era for many more decades to come. The United Nations estimates that the world’s population will grow by a further 40pc to hit more than 9bn people by 2040.

Demographics are likely to underpin rising demand for global commodities, including crude and its many byproducts such as plastics and petrochemicals, unless there is a comprehensive international accord legally binding all nations to restrict consumption.

Technological breakthroughs in the capture of emissions, or generation and storage of renewable energy beyond conventional batteries may also alter the outlook for oil.

A more immediate threat to the future longevity of the oil industry, especially ageing basins such as the North Sea, may be the dramatic drop in investment caused by a mixture of low prices and a reluctance to pump more cash into a sector blamed for climate change and haunted by peak demand fears.

Opec, which has pinned a date on peak oil for the first time, still believes the industry requires an immense $9.9 trillion of investment to meet future demand by 2045, when by its own analysis consumption could be in decline.

By then the last drop of profitable oil may have been drained from the Forties field, if BP’s glum predictions about the decline of the oil market are correct. Peak oil is upon us, but its exact time of arrival remains uncertain.

Andy Critchlow is Head of News in EMEA for S&P Global Platts

telegraph uk



46 Comments on "Peak oil is coming – it’s just a question of when"

  1. Alice Friedemann on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 6:51 pm 

    Peak oil is already here, the IEA world outlook 2018 says conventional peaked in 2008, and the 2018 EIA tables for world oil say conventional peaked in 2018

  2. Anonymous on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:15 pm 

    Yeah, maybe it’s coming. But it sure didn’t happen when TOD, ASPO, Campbell, Deffeyes predicted it. Lot of egg on the face for the peak oilers. Then again, they always were biased nutters. That’s why they ran away instead of facing the medicine.

  3. zero juan on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:19 pm 

    Dumbfuck speaks

    Anonymous said Yeah, maybe it’s coming. But it sure didn&#…

    REAL Green said Huh? JuanP is are sock puppet Davy.

    Davy said JuanP is a looser makati1. Ignore the idiot.

    zero davy said Idiot European immigrant. Go back to Germany where…

  4. REAL Green on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:40 pm 

    Anonymous is Nony Davy. I thought we liked Nony?

  5. Davy on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:43 pm 

    zero juan spoke without are permission REAL Green. Were loosing control of are socks.

  6. JuanP on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:44 pm 

    We sure are Davy. Maybe we should see the docter now? Wadda we think about that?

  7. makati1 on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:49 pm 

    Juan, everyone knows you are the lunatic. So quit hiding like a child in plain sight.

  8. REAL Green on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:52 pm 

    We have enuff socks fer now Davy. Were having a hard enuff time as it is. Besides. makat1 is still here.

  9. REAL Green on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:58 pm 

    We need to get ready fer bed now Davy. Being the bored idiot is REAL hard wurk. Were REAL tired.

  10. JuanP on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 7:59 pm 

    So true REAL Green. So true.

  11. zero juan on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 8:00 pm 

    So true JuanP. So true.

  12. zero juan on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 8:02 pm 

    Lunatic, everyone knows it is you. LMFA @ fool

    zero juan said So true JuanP. So true.
    JuanP said So true REAL Green. So true.
    REAL Green said We need to get ready fer bed now Davy. Being the b…
    bochen787 said https://i.imgur.com/A7GswjS.png https://i.imgur.co
    REAL Green said We have enuff socks fer now Davy. Were having a ha…
    makati1 said Juan, everyone knows you are the lunatic. So quit…
    JuanP said We sure are Davy. Maybe we should see the docter n…
    Davy said zero juan spoke without are permission REAL Green….
    REAL Green said Anonymous is Nony Davy. I thought we liked Nony?
    Davy said Huh? Your my sock puppet too REAL Green. fuckwak…

  13. zero davy on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 8:10 pm 

    Lunatic Davy,everyone knows it is you. LMFA @ fool

    zero juan said So true JuanP. So true.
    JuanP said So true REAL Green. So true.
    REAL Green said We need to get ready fer bed now Davy. Being the b…
    bochen787 said https://i.imgur.com/A7GswjS.png https://i.imgur.co…
    REAL Green said We have enuff socks fer now Davy. Were having a ha…
    makati1 said Juan, everyone knows you are the lunatic. So quit…
    JuanP said We sure are Davy. Maybe we should see the docter n…
    Davy said zero juan spoke without are permission REAL Green….
    REAL Green said Anonymous is Nony Davy. I thought we liked Nony?
    Davy said Huh? Your my sock puppet too REAL Green. fuckwak…

  14. REAL Green on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 8:15 pm 

    We got enough to think about with the country collasping and all Davy. Spendin all are time every day on lame unmoderated forums that only lunatics hang out isn’t a REAL Good idea. We need to get ourselfs ready for a cival war.

  15. zero juan on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 8:20 pm 

    So true REAL Green. So true.

  16. LANA REPAER this is whhat supertard wrote its very lovin of muzzies that is on Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 9:01 pm 

    Capitalist Cult of The Car

    You wake up early everyday
    To commute to a faraway place
    Which for all intents and purposes
    Could best be described as:
    “The Height of Tedium”.

    You climb the corporate ladder
    High enough to afford a new vehicle
    The company cafeteria offers donuts
    And co-workers congratulate you
    With warm welcoming smiles.

    That’s how we here survive
    While economies elsewhere take a dive.
    Feeling blue? Fill the tank up for a drive!
    Another war wins fuel for us to thrive
    Don’t think, just work — from nine to five.

    Not sure whether or not evolution
    Would have wanted it this way?
    Repetitive stress makes a fine mess
    Within this vicious cycle of duress
    But whatever the case, dress to impress!

  17. Davy on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 6:45 am 

    Look dumbasses. I USED to love Nony, until I realized he was actually my nemesis, JuanP. So now I hate him. The real nony , God Bless his soul, taught me everything I know about sock puppeting, and is a genuine 100% American hero and patriot. Now? he has been taken over by the depressed alcoholic illegal immergrant, JuanP the fuck face.

    I hope that clears things up for the dumbasses around here.

  18. makati1 on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 6:55 am 

    Come on JuanP, do you think people are stupid around here like you? We know when you take other’s ID. The signature is clear as day. Please leave so this forum can become sane again. Leave the country and go back to your 3rd world home like a man. You are such a coward plus a lunatic. I was once your friend but now hate you!

  19. zero juan on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 6:57 am 

    morning noise from the criminal JuanP:

    Davy said Look dumbasses. I USED to love Nony, until I reali…

    JuanP said I was just telling my partner yesterday that I wou…

    JuanP said All these measures will do is buy a little time le…

    JuanP said I love coming daily with socks and ID theft, and d…

    JuanP said For the record. I am the real JuanP and I am posti…

  20. JuanP on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:02 am 

    You are fucked cloggie:

    The Destruction Of The Euro
    The Eurozone is bust. The deterioration of TARGET2 imbalances have been hardly noticed, but in recent months it has been alarming. Despite official denials over the years that it is a matter of concern, it is increasingly obvious that the national banks of Italy, Spain and other nations with increasing bad debts are hiding them within the TARGET2 system. The first wave of Covid-19, which is leading to bankruptcies throughout the Eurozone, is now being followed by a second wave, which will almost certainly take out a number of important banks, in which case the cross-border euro system will implode… A Phoenix will arise from the ashes — eventually It was not the people, but the governments they were fooled into electing, and which in turn were fooled into the European project, which will bear responsibility for the collapse of the European Union. The large corporations which were corrupted into supporting socialistic ideals instead of serving their customers for profit, played their part in the looting. All this will be destroyed. There will be acute hardship as the rotten system collapses, but so be it. Hopefully, the civil conflicts and the evolution to a sounder form of money and monetary system will be time-limited — but that depends on how long events take to evict the looters in government. The best that the residents of Euroland can hope for at this juncture is that the collapse of the money will hasten their demise. The fate of the euro will be shared with the majority — if not all — of other fiat currencies for reasons specific to them. The recovery from the ashes of government incompetence can be swift — a matter of a year or two, so long as successor governments quickly learn that free markets, sound money and minimal interference from government are all required for the restoration of economic progress. Additionally, all socialist policies must be discarded, and the profit motive and individual wealth creation embraced. It will require the wholesale destruction of state bureaucracies — that will happen when the euro collapses. And they must not be replaced by new bureaucracies beyond a bare minimum required for administering law and order. Politicians must learn that bureaucratic power is a false and dishonest objective, and that a nation can only become great by the efforts of its people pursuing profits by providing what consumers want. As a creed, Caveat emptor for consumers must be reinstated. Consumers are the kings to be worshipped by producers seeking profits. And consumers have a responsibility to themselves, judging what is best for them and not relying on regulating government agencies to decide on their behalf. In business, there is no room for the luxuries of dissent. Employing people on the basis of their sex, race, disabilities and other mores must cease. The basis of any employment must be purely on ability, skills and suitability. All regulations over production must be abandoned. The businesses that supped with the devil in Brussels must never regain the advantages through their political influence. If they don’t collapse with the euro, these corporations will have to learn to survive competition from new challengers on their own. The concept of a European superstate must be discarded, and any attempt to reinvent it firmly stopped. European nations must stand by the successes and failures of their national abilities to create wealth, allowing their peoples to do it and retain it for themselves. Tax competition between jurisdictions will help guarantee that the growth of government is contained. Underwriting a new Europe must be small government, free markets and sound money. As Germany discovered following both world wars, sound money is the precondition for economic progress. Fortunately, there are still a few sound money men in the central banks of Germany, The Netherlands, and believe it or not France and Italy — evidenced by their gold holdings and in the case of the former two their repatriation from foreign vaults. They must establish their own gold substitutes and be directly exposed to the consequences of monetary manipulation, should future governments be tempted to corrupt the money again. The concept of farming out monetary affairs to a superstate organisation will have been disproved by the collapse of the euro and must not be attempted again. In a successful future, the people of Europe will decide personal their needs and wants, individually.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/destruction-euro

  21. JuanP on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:10 am 

    Mak, a new storm coming your way. Be careful.

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/storminfo/21W_geps_latest.png

  22. makati1 on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:13 am 

    Juan, you need to educate yourself on the weather. These storms you have been bringing to my attention are just low pressure and nothing to worry about. We don’t get typhoons anymore in the P’s. Climate changed that. I am so lucky and smart to move here. Nobody on this forum is as smart as I am.

  23. makati1 on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:13 am 

    my last comment was 6:55. All others are JuanP

  24. Abraham van Helsing on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 9:03 am 

    You are fucked cloggie:

    The Destruction Of The Euro
    The Eurozone is bust. The deterioration of TARGET2 imbalances have been hardly noticed, but in recent months it has been alarming.

    Really? Anglos love to predict the “destruction of the euro”, without foundation.

    The author has not a clue of what TARGET2 imbalances really mean. It simply means that Club Med (Italy, Spain and others) have huge debts with… Germany, see the graph in the article. From a European perspective it is a zero-sum game.

    Germany is so strong, it can afford to keep Club Med afloat with “free” German products, the garlic belt doesn’t have to pay for. And since Germany and Club Med are in an alliance or more than that (EU), it is extremely unlikely that Germany will let Club Med go bust. What Germany (and other surplus nations like foremost Holland) can and should do is insist that Italy finally gets its house in order.

    How bad is the Target2 “debt” to Germany?

    1 trillion.

    This amount was accumulated over 20 years EU/euro. Germany made 80 trillion over that period. Perhaps they have to write off 1% over their income over 20 years, 20 years that brought Germany unprecedented growth… because they had free-market access to all Europe.

    Big deal.

    Germany and Holland and others get what they deserve with their excessive trade surpluses, that have long been a thorn in the eye of Brussels.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_current_account_balance

    Don’t feel sorry for Germany or Holland. Luxury problem. They made enough money.

  25. lana repaer muzzies are gaslighting us wouldnt be nice if supertard bochen777 allows us to post on chink servers nah but thats ok master race chink harvest supremacist muzz and he deserves to set the rules on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 9:49 am 

    im not complaining. fine with me. im a sinophile

    muzz attack us, muzz are victims
    muzz blame us, never muzz.

    muzz gaslighting us

  26. Davy on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 10:46 am 

    All the JuanP and wakatoo comments since 2015, the stupid ones at any rate, were made by me. Including all the stupid ID thefts where I pretend to be Juan and warn wak there is a storm coming that he is too old and slow and stupid to do anything about. My plan is to keep doing that in the hope wak gets so scared one of these days he has a heart attack and drops dead when he reads it. Best part of all, when it does happen, everyone will think it was JUANP the lunatic that caused him to die of fright.

    This is example of my superuir edycation. Mak is playing tiddlywinks while I am playing 2d checkers.

    Victory!!!!

    Soon.

  27. HATE JAUNp on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 11:38 am 

    Please, during the course of your day think hate towards the lunatic JuanP

  28. zero juan on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 11:39 am 

    More nonsense from dumbfuck, JuanP:

    Davy said All the JuanP and wakatoo comments since 2015, the…

    Boomers Go Tits Up said Poor old Kunstler didn’t get any love from h…

    Nationalized Resources Assoc. said What’s done is done. What can still be done…

  29. HATE JUANp on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 12:15 pm 

    Teach your children to hate the lunatic too. This way we can wipe away his madness and have a happier world for them to live in.

  30. HATE JUANp on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 1:30 pm 

    Hate is delicious when it is directed at PPee juan.

  31. Ppee sucks on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 1:51 pm 

    JuanP destroyed this forum. Let’s take him down together. Maintain a united anti-PPee juan front.

  32. JuanP on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 2:40 pm 

    I will no longer be visiting this forum as of today. I am in a very bad place now. Nobody talk to me or even acknowledge I ever existed. I am nobody and nothing POOOF

  33. the board on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 2:48 pm 

    We are now taking on new intellectual blood for this forum. JuanP is gone and will not be returning. The asshole is gone!

  34. REAL Green on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 4:18 pm 

    Were wastin are time trolling for JuanP Davy. Cus JuanP has us on ignore.

  35. zero juan on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 4:22 pm 

    It’s not hard to upset fuck face. He thinks he is in control but all it takes is a little tug and fuck face is triggered.

    REAL Green said Were wastin are time trolling for JuanP Davy. Cus…

  36. makati1 on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 4:24 pm 

    It’s too bad I thought asshole was gone per his comments

  37. REAL Green on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:06 pm 

    Y’all think are mental troubles are bad now. There gonna get weigh worse in the cival war. We need to start a nuke war with Russia and China. We rather be nuked than suck hind tit.

  38. zero juan on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:08 pm 

    So true rial grean. So true.

  39. Davy on Sat, 24th Oct 2020 7:34 pm 

    Are safety blanket looks like a widdle pink poodle.

  40. HelloStarvingLion on Mon, 26th Oct 2020 2:37 pm 

    IHave to go do cocaine

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm7xQovKDpo

  41. zero juan on Mon, 26th Oct 2020 3:14 pm 

    Yea, lunatic, we figured you are a drug addict. Please be copious with your intake, lunatic.

    HelloStarvingLion said IHave to go do cocaine https://www.youtube.com/wat

  42. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 28th Oct 2020 7:43 pm 

    and the 2018 EIA tables for world oil say conventional peaked in 2018
    Yep, world peak happened in November of 2018.
    It is fading in the rear view mirror.

  43. Mick on Wed, 28th Oct 2020 9:25 pm 

    Yes I think the .001% know this and are pushing hard to get orange nut job elected . They know he won’t hesitate to send in troops and anything else he can throw at protesters once the steeple wake out of there coma and find out they can’t drive there 3ton pick ups to Wal-Mart to buy a box of Twinkies for much longer

  44. TypingFrenzy on Thu, 29th Oct 2020 10:07 am 

    I was a member of peakoil.com way back in 06. What happened to this place? Is there no moderation?

  45. REAL Green on Thu, 29th Oct 2020 10:49 am 

    “What happened to this place?”

    Davy refuses to see the docter.

  46. Richard on Fri, 30th Oct 2020 12:08 pm 

    It was Richard Heinberg who said 2005.

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