Thursday 8 December 2016

Let's direct our energies to debate on nuclear option

Oil is running out and France has proven that the 'n-word' is nothing to be feared, writes Willie Kealy

Published 08/08/2010 | 05:00

THE supply of oil is running out. That is no surprise to anyone. As long ago as 1970, oil production in the US peaked. But oil is vital. Every developed economy in the world depends almost totally on a guaranteed supply of oil. That is why wars have been fought over it.

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If the supply is cut back just a little -- say five per cent -- the price can rocket by 400 per cent with disastrous consequences for industry and commerce. An extended reduction of 10 or 15 per cent could wreck a vulnerable oil-dependant economy.

Oil is an increasingly volatile market, not least because most of the remaining reserves are in the hands of dictators -- some friendly to the West, some not so friendly. At the beginning of this century demand was around 85 million barrels a day. It is predicted this will rise to 113 million barrels a day in the foreseeable future, thanks mainly to the huge developing markets in China and India which are just now having the industrial revolution the rest of us went through many decades ago.

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