The world is slowly going mad: we have the Premier of Alberta saying that the ecological downsides of extracting oil sands is a “myth”, yet we all know that oil sands development is the most ecologically destructive process ever invented by the oil industry (see below).
We also have the US government saying that the oil and gas exploration in Alaska will not hurt polar bears, when there are filing cabinets full of evidence that it will (also see below). And finally we have leading oil consultants saying the world is not –contrary to conventional wisdom – running out of oil.
But you have to read the small-print in the oil reserves study, because it is dependent on oil sands being exploited. So we may not be running out of oil, but we are going to kill the climate and devastate Alberta in the process. So even if you believe the US government hype that Alaskan drilling won’t harm polar bears, climate change will kill them off anyway.
Back to the story about not running out of oil. The Times reports how “doom-laden forecasts that world oil supplies are poised to fall off the edge of a cliff are wide of the mark, according to leading oil industry experts.”
The paper continues: “A study of more than 800 oilfields by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera) has concludeed that rates of decline are only 4.5 per cent a year, almost half the rate previously believed, leading the consultancy to conclude that oil output will continue to rise over the next decade.”
Peter Jackson, the report’s author, said: “We will be able to grow supply to well over 100million barrels per day by 2017.” Current world oil output is in the region of 85million barrels a day.
Cera reckons that oil output, including unconventional oil, such as tar sands, could allow oil to peak at much higher levels of as much as 112 million barrels per day, with average rates of more than 100million bpd.
But have Cera modeled what extracting oil sands will do to the climate? Of course not.