Peak Oil: So, Now It Is Official (Or Not?)

oil field peak oil image

Photo: Emory Kristof, National Geographic

IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka is the man to watch. Now he has told Reuters that the sharp decline in the oil market, with prices collapsing by more than 70 percent is also slowing the search for new sources of oil as existing fields were depleted. If you read blogs like The Oil Drum, this is no surprise. However, it appears to be official:

Tanaka said oil demand may already have peaked in the developed countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) but failure to invest now in renewables could store up problems in the future.

"I don't see much chance it (demand) could come back now, but if we do not invest in renewables now, it could bounce back when the economy starts to grow again," he said.

What's next for Peak Oil?For years, we had people blogging about Peak Oil and how we should prepare, while trying to explain why this important source of energy was running out. Oil companies and others spent lots of money explaining why they didn't agree, or why it was a myth or even a conspiracy, and mainstream media didn't seem to care either way. Here at Treehugger, of course, you have been getting the story as it unfolded, at least over the past five exciting years.

At any rate, IAE's Tanaka says there could be an oil supply crunch from 2010 as global demand begins to recover. He forecast world oil demand would rise by 1 million barrels per day, or about 1 percent, in 2010 as growth resumes outside the OECD.

More Peak Oil:
2005: Ascent of Peak Oil
2006: The Oil Drum: Peak Oil is Probably Now
2007: IEA Sounds Peak Oil Alarm
2008: World Will Struggle To Meet Oil Demand, Says International Energy Agency
2009: Two Thirds of Oil Industry Execs Think We Should Have Limits on Carbon Emissions

Written by Martin Frid at

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