Peak Oil Now?
IEA: In Just Five Years, Demand For Oil Could Exceed Supply
Demand for oil is continuing to grow, and threatens to burn up excess oil capacity by 2012, according to a new report released today by the International Energy Agency, available on the Wall Street Journal Web site. (Subscription required.)
Excess capacity in OPEC is forecast to drop by 2 million gallons per day by 2009, and to virtually zero out by 2012. It won’t take until 2012 — or 2009 for that matter — for the cost of that tight supply to ripple through the economy straight down to the American homeowner and car driver.
Worldwide demand for oil is forecast to increase 11.2% in the next five years.
“It is possible that the supply crunch could be deferred — but not by much,” the report’s executive summary reads.
Even a slowdown in the global economy would give no more than a one-year cushion, before the world reaches “the point at which oil demand growth surpasses the growth in global oil capacity,” the report reads.
While this imbalance has a lot to do with oil pumping capacity and political volatility, it sounds an awful lot like “peak oil” — the point at which the Earth’s supply of fossil fuel oil is pumped at its maximum rate, leaving less and less oil available each year, even if demand increases.