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Peak Oil: Myth Or Coming Reality?

Matthew Simmons on the Price of Oil


"We are dependent on oil for our food, transportation, commerce, medicine, communication, sanitation and the job specialization that provides the vast majority of our livelihoods. Breaking our dependency will involve wholesale change in the way we live and who we are." - Sara Anne Edwards

Matthew Simmons, chairman and CEO of the leading oil industry investment bank Simmons & Co. International, financed the exploration and development of new oil reserves.

In Twilight in the Desert, Matthew Simmons states:

(1) Most of Saudi Arabia's oil output is generated by a few giant fields, of which Ghawar - the Earth's largest - is the most prolific.

(2) These giant oil fields were first developed 40 to 50 years ago, and have since given up much of their easily extracted oil.

(3) To maintain high levels of production in these major oil fields, the Saudis have come to rely increasingly on the use of water injection and other secondary recovery methods to compensate for the drop in natural field pressure.

(4) As time passes, the ratio of water to oil in these underground fields rises to the point where further oil extraction becomes difficult, if not impossible and there is very little reason to assume that future Saudi exploration will result in the discovery of new oil fields to replace those now in decline.


IEA's World Energy Outlook 2008

A study of the depletion rates of the world's top 800 oil fields found that the world would need to add 64 million barrels per day (mbpd) of new capacity between 2007 and 2030 in order to meet an anticipated demand growing at 1.6% per year.

Depletion rates after the peak can vary widely, from about 2% per year for a well-managed onshore field, to 20% or more per year for deepwater fields like Mexico's Cantarell field, and other deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of the 42 largest oil producing countries in the world, representing roughly 98% of all oil production, 30 have either plateaued or passed their peaks.

The IEA concluded that the world will have a hard time reaching 100 mbpd within the next two decades.

Their projected supply curves are now sharply reduced, while their global demand projections continue to show about a 1.5% annual rate of growth.

The report concluded with this stark warning:

By 2015, we expect relentless depletion to overcome new supply.


January 2006 and June 2007

International Monetary Fund records a world wide 23% rise in food prices.

In this new world order of high energy prices basic food commodities such as wheat, corn, soybeans and sugarcane will also become major energy sources.

Grain can be converted into bread for food or ethanol for gas stations.

Vegetable oil can be used for cooking or it can go to be used as diesel fuel.

Faced with an insatiable demand for automotive fuel, industrial farmers will want to clear more and more of the remaining tropical forests to produce sugarcane, oil palms, and other high yielding fuel crops generating a massive new threat to genetic diversity by conversion to industrial monoculture.

To survive humanity must turn to local sustainable energy sources.

The resource exploitive fossil fuel based, automobile centered, shopping center oriented, throwaway global consumer cultural model will be replaced with a 'new' symbiotic biomimicking cultural model.

In the small isolated communities that survive the throwaway global consumer culture a comprehensive symbiotic biomimicking cultural model based on reuse/recycle "cradle-to-cradle" economy powered by renewable energy sources: wind, solar, tide, geothermal, hydropower, and hemp biofuels.



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