Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Shrinking Global Populations Poses An Existential Threat To Oil — Alex Kimani

Not just oil. Everything, and that has vast economic implications. Climate change — think water shortage affecting agricultural production leading to mass migration — coupled with declining population rate will be game-changer. The first thing to be affected, however, is the standard of living. And that is not taking pandemic into account either. Not only is the population rate declining, but also a culling is underway. Those concerned at this point are mostly scientists, military and intel. At what point do markets discount these developments. 

Then there is this.

The arms race is on.

Global Times (Chinese state media)
US triggers China’s urgency to strengthen nuclear deterrent: Global Times editorial

Also at China Daily
Chinese, Russian defense ministers vow solidarity


Peter Pan said...

Holders of oil company stocks may be discounting it as we speak.

Joe said...

Population decline is great news. Oh we'll use less hydrocarbons? Boo hoo, how awful. We'll have cleaner air, less crowded places, less trash etc.

Kaivey said...

Wow, less people, that will be good!

Tom Hickey said...

Significant change creates emergent opportunities and challenges both. The opportunity is to shape a new world that is sustainable. The challenge is that this will require cooperation of individuals, groups, nations, and regions. I would like to be optimistic but when change becomes challenging, the tendency is to pursue self-interest rather than the common good — "It's every man for himself," rather than, "We are all in this together." So I will believe it when I see it.

The likelihood of mustering the necessary goodwill and cooperation to mount the degree of concerted action that will be needed is low. The direction at present is hardly encouraging, especially since the US (and its allies), China and Russia are all gearing up for war and increasing their nuclear arsenals, not to mention weaponing cyberspace and physical space.

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse — pestilence (pandemic), natural disasters (climate change), famine (water shortage, heat, flooding) and war — are mounted up and already riding.

Peter Pan said...

This website should be taken with several tablespoonfuls of salt.

Case in point, in the comments:
Mamdouh Salameh on July 29 2021 said:
This is wishful thinking. Oil will continue to drive the global economy and our civilization throughout the 21st century and probably far beyond, possibly forever until all underground oil reserves are burnt.

The notion of shrinking population is ludicrous. Whilst global population will continue to grow in absolute terms from 7.9 billion currently to 9.7 billion by 2050, the rate of growth might slow down as a result of more women in education and work, greater access to contraception leading to women choosing to have fewer children, urbanization and rising costs of living.

However, the global GDP is projected to grow from $91 trillion currently to $265 trillion by 2050 according to date from both the World Bank and the IMF. This and rising population albeit at a declining rate will ensure that the global demand for oil will continue to rise unabated well into the future. There will neither be a post-oil era nor a peak oil demand in the next 100 years.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman is indeed one of the world’s most influential decision makers in the global oil business nowadays. The power he wields on the global oil market and inside OPEC+ matches the power of another Saudi legend the late Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani.

So when he says that the Kingdom will pump every last drop of oil, he is to be taken seriously. However, the last barrel of oil won’t come from Saudi Arabia. It will come from Iraq, Venezuela and probably the Russian Arctic.

Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

Tom Hickey said...

Assumes there will still be civilization to burn the oil. Big assumption. Civilization hangs by a thread. That thread is energy and the flow of information it makes possible. Without it, we are toast. But the problem is now that we it we are toast, literally. Unless you believe that climate change is a hoax or that carbon emissions don't influence it.

Peter Pan said...

Without a flow of energy, of which fossil fuels are a significant percentage, civilization as we know it ends, and many people die.

So there is every incentive for oil and its derivatives to be consumed.
Renewable energy infrastructure also requires fossil fuel.

No peak oil demand in a century is implausible. A peak in conventional oil production has already occurred.

Can oil as a primary energy source be phased out in a century?
It is possible. But what happens in the interim may usher in a post-oil era the hard way. Civilization will never extract all of the oil in the ground for two reasons: it no longer needs to, or because it collapsed.

Ralph Musgrave said...

Oh my God: Exxon shareholders may get a slightly smaller dividend: the end of civilisation as we know it...:-)

Peter Pan said...

If you're making investment decisions based on articles on this website... may the gods help you.