Thursday, 31 May 2012

Peaking too soon?

Union Jock read an interesting article in the New Scientist the other week. Surprisingly, Deutsche Bank's lead oil analyst reckons that global demand for petrol will peak in 2015 and then enter "an inexorable and accelerating decline". Global demand for crude oil will subsequently peak around 2020. By 2030, they say, US petrol consumption will be almost halved compared to today. This will be due mainly to the increasing numbers of hybrid and electric vehicles, and increasingly efficient internal combustion engine design. It has to be said that some other economists aren't quite so bearish in their predictions, but DB is backed up by automotive consultancy Ricardo, who also anticipate global oil demand peaking at the end of the decade, and falling by 10% by 2035.

So the "bright future" Wee Eck promised on Tuesday for the industry that has "powered the Scottish economy over the last 40 years" could well fizzle out much sooner than he thinks.

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