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posted by martyb on Tuesday September 22 2020, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the piqued-oil? dept.

Bp Says We'Ve Already Reached Peak Oil:

BP is saying the quiet part loud: In the 2020 Energy Outlook report the energy giant published this week, it said that the world may have reached peak oil.

The covid-19 pandemic has done a serious number on the oil industry, with demand falling to historic lows amid lockdowns and prices falling into negative territory. In a report on Tuesday, the International Energy Agency warned that for the oil industry, the "path ahead is treacherous," reducing its forecast for global oil demand in 2020 by 200,000 barrels per day. And on Monday, OPEC lowered its predictions of demand in 2020 by 400,000 barrels per day.

In BP's new report, analysts said the market may never recover from this damage. The authors lay out three possible scenarios for the world's energy usage between now and 2050, which illustrate a rapid, moderate, and slow transition to renewables. The first two scenarios show demand for oil steeply falling over the next three decades. But even under the firm's most "optimistic" scenario for Big Oil where climate action doesn't accelerate, oil demand will plateau at 2019 levels before declining in 2035.

This is a vastly different picture from the one the firm sketched in its last outlook report just one year ago, which predicted oil consumption would continue to grow over the next decade, peaking sometime in the 2030s.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 22 2020, @02:28PM (18 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @02:28PM (#1054962) Homepage Journal

    No, it does not. As used originally, peak oil was a firm limit in productivity potential - that is, we didn't actually run out of oil, but oil began to be so scarce, that we could no longer pump it economically to the surface. The lesser known side issue of peak oil? We had one shot to get mankind into space, and if we blew it, we would eventually be done as a species.

    Thanks to a number of factors, including renewable energy, it appears we no longer need worry about peak oil.

    As has already been pointed out, the term peak oil has been misused here. In part due to fracking, in part to discoveries of new oil fields, it seems that there is more oil left in the ground than all the oil we have ever used.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @02:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @02:39PM (#1054970)

    it appears we no longer need worry about peak oil.

    But... but... not everyone can worry about Trump being reelected, we need to worry about something!?

  • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Tuesday September 22 2020, @02:54PM

    by crafoo (6639) on Tuesday September 22 2020, @02:54PM (#1054979)

    I mean, it's not all that dire. Nuclear power is a thing, as well as ideas to power orbital lift vehicles with nuclear explosions. We could use the southern border states as our no-mans-land testing grounds.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @03:24PM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @03:24PM (#1054994)

    But we're still on track to hit Peak Climate, right?

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 22 2020, @03:40PM (11 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @03:40PM (#1055002) Homepage Journal

      We're still on track to hit peak whacko, yes. The climate has been changing since the earth was formed. It will continue to change, until there is no earth. Meanwhile, we will adapt, or we will die, or we will find other homes.

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      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday September 22 2020, @03:54PM (3 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday September 22 2020, @03:54PM (#1055014) Journal

        or we will find other homes.

        We here in the first world probably won't.

        But all the poor folks whose home just got destroyed are going to need somewhere to go. Might as well come to the Land of the Free, amiright?

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:28PM (2 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:28PM (#1055050) Homepage Journal

          No, we're going to send them all to the asteroids.

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          • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:28PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:28PM (#1055078)

            Or. more likely, they are going to send you down the drain. Under the form of thoroughly digested soylent green.
            But that would be wasteful, the night soil is a resource.

          • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @07:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @07:42PM (#1055105)

            Fuck off fascist prick.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Dr Spin on Tuesday September 22 2020, @04:08PM (6 children)

        by Dr Spin (5239) on Tuesday September 22 2020, @04:08PM (#1055023)

        We're still on track to hit peak whacko

        Trump being president is evidence that we are getting very close.

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        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:30PM (5 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:30PM (#1055052) Homepage Journal

          Someone thought you were funny. I'll give you an informative mod. Trump vs Biden proves that we really are whacko. Trump vs Hillary should have proved that already.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:03PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:03PM (#1055068)

            Trump vs Biden proves that we really are whacko.

            You say that now, but wait 'til you see what's on the ticket in another 4 years!

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:33PM (2 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:33PM (#1055080) Homepage Journal

              AOC vs some incel, most likely.

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              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:43PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:43PM (#1055085)

                You sure Trump Jr is going to run?

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:47PM

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @06:47PM (#1055087) Homepage Journal

                  I thought Trumpy Jr had a woman. Am I wrong? He certainly has enough money to buy one!

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23 2020, @06:22AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23 2020, @06:22AM (#1055261)

            Someone thought you were funny.

            No one thinks Runaway is funny, anymore. He is the stab in the back to American democracy. He is the Fundie wacko Christian appointed to the Supreme Court. He is the teenager with an assault rifle, assaulting Americans. Runaway is not funny. He still is ignorant, stupid, uneducated and ill informed; he is a lesser American, a hick, a redneck, a hillbilly, a deplorable. All that goes with his demographic. Not too bright, easily manipulated by Murdoch, and Sinclair, and OANN, and other Billionaire "bespoke" alleged "news" outlets. My god, Runaway, you are stupid, and so easily used. I can no longer respect you as an American, nor as a man. Fuck off, Runaway. And I mean that with the utmost sincerity.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Osamabobama on Tuesday September 22 2020, @04:12PM (1 child)

    by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday September 22 2020, @04:12PM (#1055025)

    we didn't actually run out of oil, but oil began to be so scarce, that we could no longer pump it economically to the surface.

    The next step is often glossed over in this discussion: Once oil becomes more scarce, its price goes up, changing the economics of pumping it to the surface. The peak oil theory asserts that oil becomes unaffordable and society built on cheap oil collapses.

    Thanks to a number of factors, including renewable energy...

    Specifically, as the price of oil-based energy goes up, other energy, once more expensive, becomes affordable as a substitute. This mitigates demand for oil, providing a damping effect on the price increase. Simultaneously, the alternative energy sources (such as wind and solar) become cheaper as supporting technology is developed and production scale is increased. This leads other oil users to find ways to cut costs by changing sources, further reducing oil demand and price. Throw in a pandemic and you have another downward demand shock on top of all that, giving us our current situation.

    I don't think I added anything new to this discussion, but the rest of this page was focused on details, with nobody talking about the big picture.

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    • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:47PM

      by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:47PM (#1055061) Journal

      I think we are on track to have renewables undercut oil for energy way before we run out. Unsubsidized solar and wind are pretty close to unsubsidized oil, but all the oil infrastructure already exists which makes changeover slow.

      Better batteries would be a massive boost to home solar, 5KW of solar panels and 60KWhr of energy storage and the average home could tell the electricity company to piss off and never pay another electricity bill. (probably need double that if you have an E-car) Already starting to happen with some new homes here in AU. (Electricity here is 20 to 30 AU cents/kwh).

      That doesn't address the other main use of oil, chemical feedstocks. As production goes down and unit costs go up, at some point it will plateau again when oil production matches chemical demand. I suspect that chemical demand is a lot less price sensitive than energy demand.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:20PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 22 2020, @05:20PM (#1055045) Journal
    Sorry that's a flaw of the original theory (as is the assumption that declines in supply would result in collapse of society). I've always included demand-driven supply reduction as part of the dynamic.