Is the End of the Oil Era Nigh?

Yeah, I know. This is like posting a topic about the illuminati or whatever's hot in conspiracy theories today. Still, I noticed a couple of headlines treating the topic of peak oil demand recently, so I thought I'd tap this here reservoir of knowledge. When is it coming, 2025 or later? And once it comes -- this is more interesting for me -- how fast will demand decline. Over to you.

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There is no "end" of the oil era, where the oil era is interpreted as the usage of oil in society. And the reason is that oil can be manufactured from coal with great success. That technology is quite mature, has been around for 3/4 of a century, basically fuelled the entire German war machine, so you can have all the oil you want, assuming you are prepared to pay whatever premium the coal-conversion process demands. 

Now, if you want to narrow the definition and say:  "Is it the end of the traditional oil era, where oil is pumped out of the ground, either from pools of oil or from split rock  (shale)? "  Then again, the answer is still No, because the amounts that are still out there, waiting to be tapped into, are stupendous.  Probably less than 18% of the world's oil reserves (as liquid) have been consumed. 

If you want to again narrow the definition and say:  "Is it the end of oil, because society has decreed that it should be ended, as burning it is a cataclysmic future burden on the planet?"  That answer is harder, because it is inherently political, and political decisions are ultimately made by people who have no idea what they are doing.  Remember that, from this point in history forward for the next 400 years, the planet should be going back under massive ice sheets, that (for the USA) extended as far South as Memphis.  Those ice sheets should be about one mile thick, or a bit more.  After bulldozing all of Canada and all of the traditional US manufacturing States and all of New England and the City of New York at least  (and possibly Philadelphia as well), it will push the entire contents of the Great Lakes to the south and wreck everything from there to the Gulf of Mexico in this massive release of water.  Be happy that society has burned some oil and gas and allowed some methane to escape - it is the methane that is the strongest greenhouse gas - which has kept those ice sheets from getting started.  

Enjoy the warmth while you can, because the long-term picture for the planet is quite cold.  Ultimately, our fate is to go to the Ice Planet Hoth. 

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I've been hearing about peak oil since the 1980's and yet we still have oil. We have plenty of oil available. Despite all the talk, I don't see any better alternatives. Eventually we will have a substitute alternative for oil, but there is no need to rush and spend money unwisely. Look at what has happened in the last 50 or 100 years and think of what we will be able to do in the next 50 or 100 years. 

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I don't think so that we''ll see the oil era end anytime soon...at least not in next 15-20 years...as estimated before that we could see peak oil by the year 2035 to 2040...

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Peak Demand is the issue, after the peak over production becomes the norm with obvious effects on profits. The problem I've seen with forecasts of when this will occur are based on assumptions that in the past have been shown to be very off the mark. The forecasts have assumed renewable energy would only start to impact the industry very slowly along with the electrification of the world. Just go back and look at the forecasts from the past and how badly they got it wrong but still use these same techniques today. The trends in competing industries and technologies are only accelerating. When peak demand occurs I don't know but one thing that is as sure as anything really can be in the future is it will be a lot faster to occur than expected by most in the oil industry.

Take a look at what's happen in the coal industry.

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The end, as predicted by our prophet Tony Seba, is indeed nigh, so abandon all hope...

In 2019 autonomous EV services will launch in a few cities, in 2020 they will scale up, and in 2021 they will be commonplace in the US.

2020 is peak oil demand, 2021 is oil demand decline.

For more information read RethinkX's report about the future of transportation or watch a Tony Seba conference.

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