Iran’s energy minister on Monday advocated the Opec oil cartel keep its production targets unchanged at Wednesday’s meeting here in Vienna. Though many fellow oil ministers agree, coming from Iran, the statement is rather ironic. The country is among Opec’s biggest ‘quota cheats’, having raised its oil production well above the Opec ceiling it pledged to adhere to.
Whether or not you agree with peak oil, a new paper by two economists, Joyce Dargay of University of Leeds and Dermot Gately of New York University, draws some rather dramatic conclusions.
Unlike some economists, the pair do not buy the ‘peak demand’ idea. In fact they believe the IEA, EIA and Opec have all seriously underestimated future demand growth – by almost a third:
If annual per-capita oil demand growth rates to 2030 were assumed to be held zero in the OECD, 1% in the FSU, and at its 1971-2008 historical rate (2.54% annually) in the rest of the world, total oil demand will be 138 mbd in 2030 – about 30 mbd greater than what is projected by DOE, IEA, and OPEC.
And in large part it comes down to cars and other transport needs.
Although China was hardly the only country to be criticised over the weak outcome of the Copenhagen climate meeting, it is still clearly smarting over some of the accusations levelled at its role there. One of the most cutting was a comment by environmental activist and Maldives advisor Mark Lynas, whose account of a final meeting between heads of state on December 18 pointed the finger squarely at the Chinese delegation – including Premier Wen Jiabao, who Lynas says did not even attend but instead sent a ‘second-tier’ official whose lack of authority frustrated proceedings.
New comments by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao shed some light on China’s view of what happened at Copenhagen – but the overall picture remains murky.
On FT Energy Source:
- Demand forecasts: Up, up, up (illustrated)
- The latest carbon offset problems
- Why is the public cooling on climate change?
- Exxon’s thoughts on shale gas, demand and alternative energy
- Familiar hurdles for Japan’s climate bill
- China’s $3.1bn Argentina oil buy and more in Energy headlines
- An attempted climate email ‘scandal’…
- 2010 oil demand forecasts rising
- Producing shale oil by burning it in place
- Australian shale gas interest
- Taking a risk with nuclear energy
- IEA, Opec argue the toss over oil’s future
- Smarter chargers for electric vehicles
- Smart grids not such an easy sell
…albeit in very small increments.
JBC Energy have updated their handy chart of oil demand forecast revisions:
It’s worth noting however that these are the increases to the changes in demand, year-on-year, and not absolute demand. So all those upward revisions are quite small: one or two hundred thousand out of the 86m barrels per day in total.
And a sizeable portion of those increases are down to China (a third of the IEA’s latest increase, JBC points out) – and to a lesser extent, India.
OECD crude demand: settling, or being destroyed? (FT Energy Source)
International carbon offsets are never short of critics, from both the environmental movement and those who oppose emissions curbs altogether. One of the main barbs is that the credits don’t always represent actual emissions reductions — and two recent events have highlighted this can happen.
Firstly, Hungary’s decision to sell 2m UN-certified emissions reductions, or CERs, that had already been counted in the EU’s emittions trading scheme has sparked fears of double-counting and distortions in the carbon markets.
Japan’s cabinet on Friday approved a ‘basic bill’ outlining the government’s relatively ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020; and by 80 per cent by 2050. But the goals are beset by criticisms familiar to other developed countries attempting to pass climate bills.
By getting agreement before the end of last week, the Japanese government avoided a possible lengthy delay until after elections in July. The bill, which is now before parliament and is expected to be approved by the end of the month, is light on details, and states that any measures should not be introduced until next year.