3E Intelligence

When investments banks start to talk openly about a future oil supply crunch, there is reason to get really worried.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Bank recently joined the club of high-level energy experts who think the world will never see production levels above 100 million barrels per day. The Bank is now seeing 150 dollar oil on the short-term horizon.

Our economies now need 87 million barrels per day to keep the lights and factories going. In its last World Energy Outlook 2007, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that oil demand will reach 116 million barrels by 2030. But the Agency itself has now doubts on the possibility to reach these levels. For this year’s Outlook (expected in the autumn), the IEA is preparing serious investigations into the real reserves of oil, gas and coal. This exercise has been provoked by ” the healthy debate on peak oil”, IEA’s Richard Baron said during the 4th Annual Climate Change Conference in Brussels this week. For more reporting on this conference, see EurActiv.

Although Deutsche Bank tries to distance itself from the “peak oil doomsayers”, the end result is the same. Whatever it is called, “peak” or “plateau”, it is going to have some very harsh consequences. And it should have our European policymakers sweating as much over this coming energy supply crisis than they are now sweating over climate or Russia. So, where was the “peak energy” communication in the Commission’s recent climate/energy package?

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  1. Oil is going to be 150 next year. That’s because 2009 will be the 150 anniversary of the American petroleum industry. However, with oil at 150, the average person will not be celebrating. Let’s hope that crude oil prices don’t reach $150 a barrel on the 150 anniversary (1859-2009) of the petroleum industry next year. It won’t look good.

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