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Fossil and Nuclear Fuels – the Supply Outlook

Fossil and Nuclear Fuels – the Supply,Outlook – from Energy Watch Group

Since 1998 when the oil geologists Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère
published a widely discussed survey article “The End of Cheap Oil” in the journal “Scientific American”, the concept of peak oil and the present state of oil depletion are part of any serious analysis of the future oil supply potential. However, recently various publications suggest that oil is still abundantly available and that there is little need to worry about the future oil supply potential.
As in previous years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its
latest World Energy Outlook 2012 (WEO 2012) projects a rising global oil demand and supply in the coming decades. The IEA explicitely asserts that for the forseeable future – to 2035 and beyond – no geological or technical restrictions will prevent a continually growing oil supply. The media were echoing this report by emphasising the likelihood of a global oil and gas supply glut triggered by new production technologies in the USA, while ignoring
possible geological supply restrictions.

In contrast to the projections put forward by the IEA, in 2008 the
Energy Watch Group (EWG) had published a report on the future world oil supply, presenting a scenario projecting a significant decline of global oil supply in the coming decades up to 2030. It is the intention of this new report to update these findings by analysing the developments which took place in the last five years and thereby to arrive at an enhanced understanding of the conditions determining present and future oil supply.

In addition, it is the intention of this study to broaden the
perspective of the original study by embedding the oil scenario into a global scenario for all fossil and nuclear fuels by including
natural gas and by updating the EWG coal supply scenario of 2006 and the EWG uranium supply scenario of 2007.

In a nutshell, this report gives a short overview on the future
availability of fossil and nuclear fuels with an emphasis on critical issues.

*Oil*
Empirical data shows that world oil production has not increased anymore
but has entered a plateau since about 2005. The production of conventional oil
is already in slight decline since about 2008. The peaking of conventional oil is now
also accepted by the International Energy Agency. Present and future efforts by the
oil industry are directed at upholding this plateau as long as possible while at the same
time having to struggle with the growing decline of production in ageing fields. It is
becoming increasingly more difficult to compensate this reduction by developing
new fields which are getting harder to find, smaller, and are of poorer quality.

Recent increases of unconventional oil and gas production in the USA
are due to a number of specific conditions, such as a highly developed oil and gas
industry and infrastructure, sizeable unconventional oil and gas resources in
prospective areas with very low population densities, certain financial incentives for publicly
listed companies, and exemptions for the oil and gas industry from environmental
restrictions (Energy Policy Act 2005). But most important were the high
oil and gas prices reached in 2006. This has led to the fast development of the few
hot spots of shale gas and light tight oil while the decline of the conventional oil
and gas production is continuing to progress.

http://www.energywatchgroup.org/fileadmin/global/pdf/EWG-update2013_long_18_03_2\
013.pdf

published at http://peakoil.com/geology/fossil-and-nuclear-fuels-the-supplyoutlook-fr...