Saudi Aramco Has a New Perspective on Peak Oil

Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS via ZUMA

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Here’s an interesting tidbit from Axios:

The release of the Saudi Aramco IPO prospectus is putting a fresh spotlight on a big question: the date when global oil demand will peak. The document released over the weekend includes estimates that demand will grow until around 2035 before leveling off, but that the inflection point could occur by the late 2020s.

Many years ago I wrote at length about the prospect of peak oil: that is, the year that we’d be pumping the stuff out of the ground as fast as we could, leading to shortages as demand kept growing. That turned out to be a groundless concern thanks to the sudden growth of the fracking industry, which has increased the global supply of oil by upwards of 10 percent or so.

Now, apparently, the concern is just the opposite: not supply constraints but demand constraints, thanks to the growth of solar and wind and other technologies that are reducing the need for oil. This is now being taken seriously enough that it’s affecting the outlook for major oil companies.

That sounds like bad news for Exxon but good news for all the rest of us. I sure hope there’s a real basis for this concern.

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