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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Peak Oil: The Details

Richard Heinberg's The Party's Over has a list of the peak oil years for various countries and groups of countries. The years listed are when that nation's oil production was or will be at its maximum. You'll notice that an awful lot of these years exist in that part of time commonly known as "the past."

  • US 1970, Canada 2006, Mexico 2005, Total North America 1983
  • Argentina 1997, Brazil 2003, Colombia 2004, Ecuador 1997, Peru 1979, Trinidad & Tobago 1977, Venezuela 1970, Total South & Central America 2006
  • Denmark 2004, Italy 1997, Norway 2004, Romania 1976, UK 2000, Total Europe 2006
  • Former Soviet Union 1987
  • Iran 1976, Iraq 2009, Kuwait 2010, Oman 2005, Qatar 2004, Saudi Arabia 2017, Syria 1995, UA Emirates 2009, Yemen 2005, Total Middle East 2009
  • Algeria 2006, Angola 2002, Cameroon 1985, Congo 2004, Egypt 1993, Equatorial Guinea 2003, Gabon 2004, Libya 1969, Nigeria 2007, Tunisia 1981, Total Africa 2006
  • Australia 2005, Brunei 1979, China 2007, India 2004, Indonesia 1977, Malaysia 2003, Papua New Guinea 1993, Thailand 2004, Vietnam 2004, Total Asia-Pacific 2004
  • Total World Peak 2006
(pp 103-104)
What this means is that by the time you need to start making payments on that furniture you bought last week the planet will be unable to produce oil any faster. But there is no letup in sight for demand as people keep driving huge vehicles long miles here, while others get off of their bikes and into cars by the millions in China and elsewhere. This means shortages, big time. The real nutcase conspiracy theorists are the ones who believe that the war in Iraq was about UN resolutions or weapons of mass destruction or ties to terrorists or mass graves; it was and is all about the oil. Our completely broken political system prevents this country from facing this oncoming catastrophe with even a tiny bit of sense; both Bush and Kerry would prefer to keep fighting wars to telling the American people that they need to conserve and raise the gas tax to $5 a gallon (at a minimum). Our whole economy, including the growing and delivering of food, is based on cheap oil. And very soon there will be no such thing.