Peak Oil Debate Gathers Momentum at Davos Economic Summit

Emerging demand patterns, new extraction technology and global politics could be leading to a future of oil abundance, not of catastrophic dearth, it is argued.

Published: 01-Feb-2010

s, Switzerland -- Global energy outlook too has been under the hammer at Davos -- and despite the freezing cold temperatures outside the huge auditorium -- the debate was enough to keep adrenaline flowing. A battle was on -- with the crusaders arguing that peak oil was just round the corner. And there were defenders, warning, and rather forcefully, that it's this buzz that would keep the demand -- supply balance stretched in the coming years and not any lack of resources.

Indeed many in this part of the world, including this writer strongly believe that the worries over oil production peak have at least been relegated to a back burner, if not totally discarded. Yet the debate in Davos once again reminded us that the peak oil pundits are not going to give up -- despite some recent setbacks.

While addressing the session, Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid Al-Falih, underlined that worries about oil production reaching a peak are now over. "We feel that the whole issue that came to the surface and created a lot of concern about peak oil is behind us."

Al-Falih took a jab at peak oil (underlining he doesn't believe in it), then stated that talk of the world weaning itself off fossil fuels does not inspire confidence to keep investing in oil production. "Of the 4 trillion (barrels) of oil the planet is endowed with, only 1 has been produced," Al-Falih said.

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