BP and Peak Oil / BP och Peak Oil

Posted on October 5, 2008

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BP’s chief economist Christof Rühl has expressed his opinion on Peak Oil. Yet another economist that has difficulty understanding what Peak Oil is. I think that the shareholders in BP should be worried about their future. What opinions do you have on this statement?

In an interview with EurActive he made the following statement (read intervie):

Question: But isn’t the result the same in terms of economic impact, whether it is peak oil or severely restricted access?

Rühl: “No, the result is not the same. Because this situation will react to prices and other fuels becoming available, and it will react to low prices and to these barriers coming down again. Physical peak oil, which I have no reason to accept as a valid statement either on theoretical, scientific or ideological grounds, would be insensitive to prices. In fact the whole hypothesis of peak oil – which is that there is a certain amount of oil in the ground, consumed at a certain rate, and then it’s finished – does not react to anything. Whereas we believe that whatever can be turned into oil strongly depends on technology and technology depends on prices as well.
Therefore there will never be a moment when the world runs out of oil because there will always be a price at which the last drop of oil can clear the market. And you can turn anything into oil if you are willing to pay the financial and environmental price. It is more likely that demand will peak, which is what we are seeing in Japan and in Europe. And then of course there is another constraint. The human capacity of digging hydrocarbons out of the ground and burning them and turning them into energy seems to be much larger than the atmospheric capacity to absorb the resulting CO2. That is likely to be more of a natural limit than all these peak oil theories combined. Peak oil has been predicted for 150 years. It has never happened, and it will stay this way.”

(Swedish)

BP:s chefsekonom Christof Rühl har uttalat sig om Peak Oil. Ytterligare en ekonom som har svårt att förstå vad Peak Oil är. Jag tycker att aktieägarna i BP skall vara oroliga för framtiden. Vad har ni för åsikter om uttalandet här ovan?

Uttalandet är gjord i en intervju med EurActiv.com.

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