I do not spend much time these days following petroleum production numbers. I have found other ways to keep myself occupied. Matt Simmons says we peaked in global oil production year on year in 2007 and who am I to argue with him?
In July 2008 the world produced more oil than any month since. How much of that is supply driven and how much of it is demand driven? Are we talking light sweet crude, total liquids or do those numbers include unconventional sources like the tar sands? Have we definitively peaked in global oil production? Not having time to closely follow the debate I can't say for certain.
Writing a report for the US Department of Energy Robert Hirsch said, "Without mitigation, the peaking of world oil production will cause major economic upheaval." By mitigation the report suggests 20 years or more of "accelerated effort." It seems clear to me that we're not going to have 20 years to prepare but I have been waiting for some "official" organization to recognize that we are in fact standing on top of the oil age and in some trouble.
For that reason the article below caught my eye. I wasn't exactly waiting for the media or the US government to report on peak oil before it becomes a clear image in our collective rear view mirror but I figured at some point some significant organization by cough up the truth of the situation. In fact it was the US military. The Guardian recently reported the following.
The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply
The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.
"By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day," says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis.
It adds: "While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds.
It is the job of the US military to accurately identify threats. Sure they've used psyops in the past but if this were propaganda aimed at the US population I could have read about it in a mainstream US publication or seen it on the nightly newz. Instead I had to go to a British website.
This should not have been a total surprise to me. In a 2005 report entitled, Energy Trends and Implications for U.S. Army Installations, the US Army Corps of Engineers said, "Peak oil is at hand with low availability growth for the next 5 to 10 years... World oil production is at or near its peak and current world demand exceeds the supply." It follows that five years later the US military might issue a warning suggesting they were right.
So for what it's worth here is an important organization, regularly tasked with identifying threats, reporting that the world is about to experience a serious oil output shortfall.