CNA Report On Energy Security  

Posted by Big Gav in

Energy Bulletin has an article from Rick Munroe summarising a new report from the "Center for Naval Analyses’ Military Advisory Board" in the US, looking at the country's energy security - Review of CNA Report: “Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security” (May 2009).

Energy Bulletin also has a related article - Energy Security: an Annotated Military/Security Bibliography.

Powering America’s Defense comes two years after the Military Advisory Board’s landmark report, “Climate Change” (May, 2007). This review of Powering will examine the way its authors deal with the issues of peak oil, oil imports and the potential for oil supply shocks.

A. Peak Oil

With respect to peak oil, Powering refers to the 2007 GAO report, “Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production” [1] and makes specific reference to the GAO’s conclusion that “the peak in production is likely to occur some time before 2040” [2].

Powering then refers to the recent World Energy Outlook (WEO, Nov. 2008) and states, “According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) most countries outside of the Middle East have already peaked, or will soon reach, the peak of their oil production” [3].

However, Powering does not include some of the most compelling information contained in the 2008 WEO:

- its acknowledgement that oilfield decline rates are much worse than was previously recognized [4],
- its warning of an oil-supply crunch by 2015 unless there is a major surge in investment [5],
- its marked shift in tone from previous WEOs [6].

The 2008 WEO states, “Production has already peaked in most non-OPEC countries and will peak in most others before 2030” [7].

When the IEA’s Fatih Birol, was questioned on this pre-2030 time-frame, he conceded, “Assuming that OPEC will invest in a timely manner, global conventional oil can still continue [to increase] but we still expect that it will come around 2020 to a plateau, which of course is not good news for global oil supply. “

Birol went on to say, “The reason we are asking for a global energy revolution is to prepare everybody for difficult days and difficult times. I think we should be very careful…” [8]

To summarize, the Chief Economist of the IEA has verbally indicated that the global peak (which the GAO thought might occur as late as 2040, and which the WEO indicated might be “before 2030” has now been brought forward to an anticipated plateau a mere decade from now. ...

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