Are we supposed to believe that the Iraq war had nothing to do with oil? The Financial Times reports:
All the world’s extra oil supply is likely to come from expensive and environmentally damaging unconventional sources within 15 years, according to a detailed study.
This will mean increasing reliance on hard-to-develop sources of energy such as the Canadian oil sands and Venezuela’s Orinoco tar belt.
A report from Wood Mackenzie, the Edinburgh-based consultancy, calculates that the world holds 3,600bn barrels of unconventional oil and gas that need a lot of energy to extract.
So far only 8 per cent of that has begun to be developed, because the world has relied on easier sources of oil and gas.
Only 15 per cent of the 3,600bn is heavy and extra-heavy oil, with the rest being even more challenging.
The study makes clear the shift could come sooner than many people in the industry had expected, even though some major conventional oil fields will still be increasing their production in 2020. Those increases will not be enough to offset the decline at other fields.
“It becomes unclear beyond 2020 that conventional oil will be able to meet any of the demand growth,” Wood Mackenzie said. The report added that natural gas products such as liquids and condensate would also become important sources of growth.
The Kurds are already well ahead of the game in trying to secure Iraq’s precious resource, but the role of US multinationals remain mired in suspicion.