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Forty percent!

February 16, 2011

I’m surprised this hasn’t had bigger play, given the implications. From the New York Times:

Saudi Arabia’s ability to boost oil production much above current levels is questionable and the country’s overall crude reserves may have been overstated by up to 40 percent, American diplomats in Riyadh warned in confidential cables written between 2007 and 2009. The dispatches were released by Wikileaks and published on Tuesday by The Guardian newspaper in Britain.

That this was published in the Times Environment blog and not on the financial pages says a lot too.  The impact of peak oil will seem in retrospect like the 2008 financial crisis – ignored and denied in the lead-up, seen as inevitable and predictable after the fact.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Agustin permalink
    February 16, 2011 10:02 am

    … and the effect of peak oil will be much larger and more painful.

  2. Jim permalink
    February 16, 2011 10:57 am

    …it will also effect everyone in all aspects of there lives.

  3. steven permalink
    February 16, 2011 1:49 pm

    There’s a new report out from Shell that confirms peak oil as well and they go so far as to consider a Depression 2.0 scenario. Here’s a section of :

    “Shell predicts in clear terms what journalist Michael Rupert said in his recent film “Collapse”: more shocks to the industry loom ahead, which will lead to increased price volatility, producing rapid inflation and deflation on the consumer level.
    And if that phenomena hasn’t already begun, they add, it will be in full-boar by the end of this decade.
    Interestingly enough, Shell also predicts that “[the] longer the delay in climate policy action, the more likely shocks become.”
    One such example would be the potential for peak output in Saudi Arabia. If it were a reality and word got out that their fields would be in permanent decline, it could produce extreme price variations and social unrest amid worsening economic conditions. A series of US diplomatic cables from 2007-2009, published by secrets outlet WikiLeaks, revealed that the former head geologist in charge of exploration for the Saudi oil firm Aramco, who retired in 2004, has expressed very serious concerns that this was happening.”

    In an article reviewing this predicament (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/15/shell-report-predicts-peak-oil-now-or-soon-ponders-depression-2-0/)

  4. steven permalink
    February 16, 2011 1:54 pm

    Apologies. Posted that too quickly. What I meant to type:

    There’s a new report out from Shell (http://www-static.shell.com/static/aboutshell/downloads/aboutshell/signals_signposts.pdf) that confirms peak oil and goes so far as to consider a Depression 2.0 scenario, though it is described as “unlikely”. An article looking at the report highlights that:

    “Shell predicts in clear terms what journalist Michael Rupert said in his recent film “Collapse”: more shocks to the industry loom ahead, which will lead to increased price volatility, producing rapid inflation and deflation on the consumer level.
    And if that phenomena hasn’t already begun, they add, it will be in full-boar by the end of this decade.
    Interestingly enough, Shell also predicts that “[the] longer the delay in climate policy action, the more likely shocks become.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/15/shell-report-predicts-peak-oil-now-or-soon-ponders-depression-2-0/

    Report link: http://www-static.shell.com/static/aboutshell/downloads/aboutshell/signals_signposts.pdf

  5. Tessa permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:09 pm

    The question is: what are we doing about it? I know there’s some little disparate things around, but is there a specific peak oil strategy for the city of Vancouver? Maybe an advisory committee could help. I remember the mayor and some councillors talking in 2008 about how they need to get Vancouver ready for peak oil, and the bike lanes and stuff are all great, so is the local food strategy, but there’s probably a lot we’re missing and I don’t think we’re going fast enough, really.

    What about working to increase local neighbourhood shops in the zoning? Especially in areas that are currently lacking. The neighbourhoods least prepared for peak oil also seem to be the ones getting the least attention.

  6. steven permalink
    February 16, 2011 10:19 pm

    @ Tessa:

    – Following a quick search I found this 2010 presentation to council about what the city is doing and needs to do to anticipate and adapt to peak oil while reducing the city’s ecological footprint: http://cityofvan-as1.insinc.com/ibc/mp/md/open/c/317/1201/200911050900wv150en,004. I believe it was heard by the city’s Environment & Energy Committee.

    – Neighbourhood-based transition groups have also been established over recent years via Village Vancouver (http://www.villagevancouver.ca/) but they are focused on bottom-up solutions and as far as I know they aren’t formally connected with the city.

    – I seem to remember reading an article in the Georgia Straight late last year about Metro Vancouver taking the lead on peak oil but again I’m not sure about that. I do remember another article pointing out that the new regional food strategy doesn’t explicitly recognize peak oil even though it acknowledges the role of oil as an input in our food production.

    I hope that someone else will pipe up here who knows more about things on the civic front. I’d also be interested to know how (if?) the region’s developers are facing this challenge.

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