TomDispatch has a new article from Michael Klare on what he calls "The Collapse of the Old Oil Order " - Michael Klare, The Coming World of "Peak Oil Demand," Not "Peak Oil".Klare views the discord amongst oil producers (evident at the failed talks aimed restraining supply in Doha) as another sign of weak demand for oil in the coming years and a fight between suppliers for market share. He also notes Saudi Arabia is claiming it will raise production from its current 10.2 million barrels per day to 11.5 million barrels and could add another million barrels in the next six to nine months.
At the beginning of this century, many energy analysts were convinced that we were at the edge of the arrival of “peak oil”; a peak, that is, in the output of petroleum in which planetary reserves would be exhausted long before the demand for oil disappeared, triggering a global economic crisis. As a result of advances in drilling technology, however, the supply of oil has continued to grow, while demand has unexpectedly begun to stall. This can be traced both to slowing economic growth globally and to an accelerating “green revolution” in which the planet will be transitioning to non-carbon fuel sources. With most nations now committed to measures aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases under the just-signed Paris climate accord, the demand for oil is likely to experience significant declines in the years ahead. In other words, global oil demand will peak long before supplies begin to run low, creating a monumental challenge for the oil-producing countries. This is no theoretical construct. It’s reality itself. Net consumption of oil in the advanced industrialized nations has already dropped from 50 million barrels per day in 2005 to 45 million barrels in 2014. Further declines are in store as strict fuel efficiency standards for the production of new vehicles and other climate-related measures take effect, the price of solar and wind power continues to fall, and other alternative energy sources come on line. While the demand for oil does continue to rise in the developing world, even there it’s not climbing at rates previously taken for granted.