Antonio Turiel reads between the lines of the latest official IEA data to provide his annual forecast on oil availability.
He predicts that in 2040 we will have less than half the oil we enjoy today.
I consider this a best case scenario because when economic contraction overwhelms our ability to mask reality with debt, many other actors will conspire to disrupt the complex technology network we depend on.
Like hungry people rioting in the streets, trucks with empty diesel tanks, no letters of credit for trade, and war.
P.S. Economists are idiots.
For readers who have just arrived at this blog , that graph will probably be quite impressive. Basically, it is telling us that the net energy that we can most realistically expect to receive from oil will fall from 69 Mboe / d in 2015 to 33.3 Mboe / d in 2040, that is, a fall of more than 50 % in a period of 25 years. It is certainly an ominous prospect, but it is similar to what we have obtained in other years and in fact this year’s is slightly better (0.9 Mb / d more in 2040) than last year.
With each passing year, the IEA is forced to make a new return on its forecasts regarding the production of liquid hydrocarbons. This year for the first time it has shown two graphs that anticipate a very unpleasant scenario in terms of oil production, something that seems to be already beginning to notice with the possible arrival of the peak of diesel production. As the years go by and the production data are known, it shows that the trends that we anticipated a few years ago are beginning to consolidate. More importantly, something that radically changes the situation has not just appeared, but rather the opposite: investment in exploration and development of new deposits falls worldwide except in the US, to the extent that currently North America , which produces less than 20% of all the world’s oil, it invests more than 50% in exploration and development.
And in the USA, the myth of fracking as a great revolution is increasingly exposed: the Financial Times questions the quality of the hydrocarbon extracted by fracking (it can not be used to produce diesel because it would be very expensive, among other things ); and a few days ago Art Berman showed that, contrary to the myth of ever decreasing exploitation costs, it turns out that in the last year and a half they have experienced an appreciable increase.
The classical economists, who only look at the price of oil, consider that there is nothing to worry about because right now the price is low. They have not understood the price volatility , they do not understand the effects of the energy spiral . The analysis of the production data, on the contrary, shows us a very complex situation ahead, forecast that as the years pass it seems to be confirmed.