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Ian Dunlop of ASPO-Australia on "Insight" $2 a litre (video and transcript)
Insight, Special Broadcasting Services (SBS) (Australia)
A year ago, paying $2 per litre for petrol would have been hard to believe. Soon it could be a reality.
Insight asks the question: how high will it go? And can the federal government do anything to stop rising petrol prices?
...JENNY BROCKIE: OK. Ian Dunlop, what do you think? You're a former oil company executive. Do you agree with Shane's analysis of why we're seeing prices rise?
IAN DUNLOP, AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION STUDY OF PEAK OIL: I think we're certainly going to see extreme volatility in the price, Jenny. I don't agree in terms of the speculation role. I think the problem is much more deep-seated. We actually are reaching the point at which global oil supply is peaking. And we're getting to the stage where we can't keep increasing it because of technical constraints in the oil reservoirs. Even with the price going up, we're not seeing production increasing to the level you would have expected.
JENNY BROCKIE: Can we do anything about that?
IAN DUNLOP: Not really, apart from start to conserve the amount we use, to introduce efficiency and to go for alternatives.
... JENNY BROCKIE: I would like to pull back from this discussion now and Ian, I would like to ask you, what do you make from listening to all of this? Of listening to the Government's and the Opposition's positions on fuel and what everybody is talking about in terms of just trying to keep the price down. What do you make of that debate?
IAN DUNLOP: Unfortunately, I think we are completely missing the point. There are 6.5 billion people in the world. The average Australian uses like seven times the amount of fuel of the average Chinese. The average American uses 11 times as much. There is an awful lot of Chinese and you only want to see a slight increase in the amount that they each use before you see a vast increase in the amount of world supply.
JENNY BROCKIE: And the price goes up?
IAN DUNLOP: And the price goes up. The price goes up if the supply can't meet the demand and that's what has been happening over the last four, five years. The price has been going up because supply has not been meeting demand. And unfortunately we are now reaching a crunch point. This is not new. This is something that has been developing for a long time.
JENNY BROCKIE: So what does it mean we do Ian?
IAN DUNLOP: Unfortunately, governments around the world have not been prepared to acknowledge the problem. And we are now in a position of making it extremely difficult to solve it. We just do not have the oil supply available.
(8 July 2008)
Long discussion. One of the participants is Ian Dunlop of ASPO-Australia.
ASPO's Bell says world must adjust to higher oil prices (video)
David Bell, convenor at the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas [ASPO], talks with Bloomberg's Bernard Lo from Sydney about the outlook for crude oil supply and demand, and the impact of rising prices on business.
(8 July 2008)
A critical review of IEA's oil demand forecast for China
Willem P. Nel and Christopher J. Coope, Science Direct
China has a rapidly growing economy with a rapidly increasing demand for oil. The International Energy Agency (IEA) investigated possible future oil demand scenarios for China in the 2006 World Energy Outlook. The debate on whether oil supplies will be constrained in the near future, because of limited new discoveries, raises the concern that the oil industry may not be able to produce sufficient oil to meet this demand.
This paper examines the historical relationship between economic growth and oil consumption in a number of countries. Logistic curve characteristics are observed in the relationship between per capita economic activity and oil consumption. This research has determined that the minimum statistical (lower-bound) annual oil consumption for developed countries is 11 barrels per capita. Despite the increase reported in total energy efficiency, no developed country has been able to reduce oil consumption below this lower limit. Indeed, the IEA projections to 2030 for the OECD countries show no reduction in oil demand on a per capita basis. If this lower limit is applied to China, it is clear that the IEA projections for China are under-estimating the growth in demand for oil.
This research has determined that this under-estimation could be as high as 10 million barrels per day by 2025. If proponents of Peak Oil such as Laherrère, Campbell and Deffeyes are correct about the predicted peak in oil production before 2020 then the implications of this reassessment of China's oil demand will have profound implications for mankind.
(8 January 2008)
Authors are at the Institute for Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa