Blíži sa energetická kríza? - II

Pokiaľ sa nezvýši súčasná produkcia(84,5 mil. barelov/deň), v budúcnosti uvidíme podstatne vyššie ceny ropy.

Over in Mexico, the news is also ominous. It was recently announced that its largest oil-field (Cantarell) peaked in 2004 at 2.15 million barrels per day and since then 600,000 barrels of oil per day has been lost due to the inevitable “peak”. Today, Cantarell (the world’s second largest oil field) produces only 1.5 million barrels of oil per day; a sharp fall in a short period of time! Over the coming year or two, Mexico expects to lose another 500,000 barrels per day of oil production as Cantarell’s decline accelerates.

In Asia, the picture also looks gloomy. DaQing, China’s largest oil-field is also past its peak output, which means that the world’s most populated nation will have to import even more oil in the future. Declining production from existing oil-fields in different parts of the world would not have been worrisome if we were still discovering gigantic oil-fields in new frontiers. However, it is my observation that over the past 35 years, only a single gigantic oil-field has been discovered anywhere in the world (Kashagan Oil-field discovery in 2000). Furthermore, it is worth noting that due to rising costs and technological difficulties, its production will only commence in 2009 and peak output may reach 1.5 million barrels per day – a drop in the ocean.

So, the point I am making is that even if we were to discover a world-class oil-field today, the supply from that will probably not reach the market for another decade and we will need to find many oil-fields to feed the rapidly rising global demand. To complicate matters further, over the coming years, it is expected that more and more existing oil-fields will enter a decline. So, rather than adding to the global supply in any meaningful manner, additional supplies from new fields may only just about compensate for the decline in the older fields. This is a sobering thought often overlooked by many oil-analysts and economists.

In any market, it is pointless to only look at supply without examining demand, so let us review some of the trends in this area. Despite elevated prices, the global demand for oil is at a record-high. So far, “high” prices have not had any impact on curbing demand. Although demand from the industrialised nations has declined somewhat, the emerging-world, led by China and India, has continued to consume ever-larger quantities of oil. Going forwards, it is expected that roughly 500 million Asians will migrate areas to urban centres over the coming decade and this will continue to increase the demand for crude oil.

Today, the average American uses roughly 25 barrels of oil per annum, whereas the average Chinese uses a miniscule 2 barrels per annum and the average Indian burns less than a barrel per year! Some of the more developed Asian nations such as Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan consume roughly 17 barrels of oil on a per-capita basis. It is worth noting that despite extremely low per-capita consumption levels, today China and India combined, consume 11% of the world’s crude oil versus 6% at the start of the decade! If current growth rates continue over the next decade, we would require an additional Saudi Arabia to fulfill this demand.

Now, my research has convinced me that there is no other Saudi Arabia waiting in the ranks to meet the rising Chinese and Indian demand. Moreover, if my assessment is correct and the global supply of oil is unable to appreciate by much from the current levels (84.5 million barrels per day), we will see a significantly higher price of crude oil. Ultimately, if nothing is done to solve this problem, we may see shortages and rationing of the world’s most important natural resource.

Source: GoldS