Alternate Title: Peak Oil Foiled Again
Guest “too fracking funny for words” by David Middleton
IEA chief says low oil prices will take demand beyond pre-crisis highs
By JAVIER BLAS on 5/25/2020
LONDON (Bloomberg) –Global oil consumption hasn’t peaked, the head of the International Energy Agency warned, throwing cold water on hopes the coronavirus will cap demand and reduce climate-changing emissions.
“In the absence of strong government policies, a sustained economic recovery and low oil prices are likely to take global oil demand back to where it was, and beyond,” Fatih Birol said in an interview.
The world consumed last year nearly 100 million barrels a day of oil, and some in the energy industry believe that could mark the peak for global demand. Their hypothesis is that the coronavirus outbreak will trigger changes, like widespread working-from-home and less overseas travel, reducing consumption permanently.
“Could it be peak oil? Possibly. Possibly. I would not write that off,” the head of British oil major BP Plc, Bernard Looney, told the Financial Times.
If true, that would have huge implications for climate change as burning less oil would permanently reduce greenhouse emissions, easing the way to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. But Birol warned governments that the coronavirus will only reduce oil demand briefly, with consumption dipping in 2020 to about 91 million barrels a day, before rebounding in 2021 and beyond.
Birol is urging governments to use their economic recovery packages to fight climate change, spending on green energy to help to achieve the goals set in the 2016 Paris accord.
In the U.S., the recovery of gasoline demand is well underway. After a 42% decline from mid-March to early-April, motor gasoline supply grew by 23% through mid-May. Diesel fuel demand has actually increased a little since the lockdowns began… Because if the truckers hadn’t kept rolling, we would all be dead by now.
To quote John Travolta from Broken Arrow: “Yeah. Ain’t it cool?”