venerdì, settembre 01, 2006

Da Bloomberg sul Peak Oil e ASPO-5

L'editorialista di Bloomberg, Deepak Gopinah ha pubblicato ieri un lungo articolo sulla questione del picco del petrolio.

Comicia raccontando la conferenza ASPO-5, definita come un "raduno di catastrofisti straccioni" ma nel complesso è un articolo abbastanza equilibrato, sia pure troppo lungo e che si muove da un'opinione all'altra come se fosse uno sciatore che scansa le bandierine dello slalom.

Non arriva a una conclusione precisa, ma cita ampiamente Campbell e Laherrere, come pure Deffeyes e Simmons. In sostanza, siamo "Mainstream"; ma ancora non l'opinione prevalente.

Segue l'articolo a:

Peak Oil Forecasters Win Converts on Wall Street to $200 Crude

By Deepak Gopinath

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- On a sweltering Tuesday in mid-July, in the fields outside Pisa, Italy, Willem Kadijk scribbles notes as a ragtag troupe of doomsayers predict the end of the Oil Age.

With his shaved head, jeans and sandals, Kadijk, 48, blends into a crowd gathered under a white tent to hear of the coming calamity. The death of cheap, abundant crude, the forecasters warn, might unleash war and plunge the world into a second Great Depression.

That's not the prophecy of some apocalyptic cult. Kadijk, a hedge fund adviser, had flown from Amsterdam to attend a conference on a geologic theory known as peak oil.

Proponents of this controversial idea say global oil production is now at or near its zenith. Once the flow crests and starts to decline -- and some geologists say it already has -- oil will no longer be able to slake the world's growing thirst for energy. The result will be the oil shock to end all oil shocks. The price of a barrel of crude will spiral to $200 -- and keep rising. To the peaksters, today's energy crunch is nothing next to the pain that will follow.

``Peak oil is a reality,'' says Kadijk, a senior equity salesman at Kepler Equities, an Amsterdam-based brokerage. He plans to start a fund to capitalize on what he sees as a looming crisis for the world's fossil fuel-based economy and the ultimate bull market in oil.

As energy prices soar and violence convulses the Middle East, the peak-oil movement -- an unlikely alliance of geologists, physicists, oil industry consultants and environmental activists -- is winning converts. Peak-oil ideas are bubbling up from scientific journals and offbeat Web sites, much the way warnings of global warming did a decade ago. For the first time, the peaksters have begun to grab the attention of Washington and Wall Street.

Congressional Caucus

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, former boss of Boston- based Cabot Corp., an oil and chemicals company, has asked the National Petroleum Council, which advises him, to investigate whether oil supplies can keep pace with demand. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan congressional watchdog, is due to release a study on peak oil this November. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican, has formed the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus to sound the alarm.

``The world has never faced a problem like this,'' Bartlett says.

Everyone agrees we'll run out of crude eventually. Oil, after all, is a finite resource: The Earth holds only so much of it. The controversial issue is when a global peak will occur -- and what will happen then.

Colin Campbell, a British geologist who popularized the peak- oil theory in his book ``The Coming Oil Crisis'' (Multi-Science Publishing Co. and Petroconsultants SA, 1997, 210 pages) says world production of conventional oil, the kind that comes from gushing wells, is reaching its apex.

End of Oil Age

Society isn't prepared for the consequences, Campbell, 75, says. It's too late to develop alternative sources of power, such as solar cells, nuclear reactors and windmills, to fill the oil gap before energy prices soar, says Campbell, who has a doctorate in geology from the University of Oxford and more than 40 years of experience in the oil industry.

``We have come to the end of the first half of the Oil Age,'' Campbell says.


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