STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Peak Oil and Implications for India

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  • January 2013
    Volume: 
    37
    Issue: 
    1
    Commentaries

    The basic point is that crude oil is a finite resource. Hence, the issue is not ‘if’ crude oil peaks and availability declines, but ‘when’ it peaks and starts its decline. Peak oil is the theoretical point in time at which oil production peaks and begins to fall. Here we refer only to peaking of conventional oil.

    While it is dicey to predict oil reserves and production rates, one can accurately compute and collate past figures. Experts have been predicting peaking since 1995 but because of energy-efficient machines, substitution and use of natural gas and electricity for heating and so on, the dates have been shifting. This underscores the fact that the only reliable way to predict the timing of peak oil will be by examining past statistics. The most telling evidence of peaking is the near plateauing and negative rise in production for the seven years ending 2011

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