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Peak Oil

The term “Peak Oil” has been thrown around a lot. But what will it really mean for most of us when it comes? Greg Pahl explains that, and why peak oil is the most pressing global issue, in the Rutland Herald [1].

Renowned petroleum geologist Colin Campbell estimates that global extraction of oil will peak before 2010, probably around 2007. Geophysicist Kenneth Deffeyes says the date for maximum production will be this November. The current instability in the international oil market tends to confirm that we probably are approaching peak oil. But the exact date may be somewhat academic. This is because if the rollover point at the top of the peak does occur within the next few years, there simply isn’t enough time left to make the massive shift to the renewable energy strategies that would allow for a smooth transition from our present oil-based economy.

Greg Pahl also notes that supplies of natural gas are as unreliable and rapidly declining as oil. What’s the real situation with natural gas and liquid natural gas? Julian Darley and the Postcarbon Institute [2] sent this update from WorldWatch this morning:


Judging by the latest trends in spot LNG trade, the Henry Hub gas price on the US Gulf Coast is increasingly setting the tone. Despite global growth in LNG, the market has been hit by shortages in recent months due to an unexpected series of problems at liquefaction trains. As a result, the US market, which has seen prices at Henry Hub almost double over the summer, has seen no gains in LNG imports. In fact, total third quarter import volumes into the US were off by more than 20% from a year earlier. The paucity of supplies into the US is a direct result of strong European demand in addition to the problems at export plants. Asian LNG markets are tight too, with both Korea and Japan increasing their imports and showing a willingness to pay above Henry Hub levels. LNG trade seems to be transmitting the market pressures in the US to gas prices around the world. Magda Jura in New York