Suggestions for a distinct, definitive
leadership role internationally for
Maj. Gen. (Retd) S. C. N. Jatar
Petroleum is running out:
Petroleum is a finite resource. Its current rate of consumption (80 million
barrels/day) is close to the production capability of the exporting
countries. The rate of growth of demand
for imported liquid petroleum is around 2.5% + in the
Oil and gas are running out faster than the vast
majority of people realise and this will have seismic consequences for the
whole world. Even by the year 2005, oil
will start to become in short supply, prices will start going up and
politicians will opt for the nuclear energy option - with all the consequences
that this option implies. Oil shortages
4. Liquid petroleum is likely to be the first area of crisis; natural gas could last (a decade or so) longer before supply limits the demand. Natural gas is not easily stored and there are strategic reasons for not depending wholly on gaseous fuels.
High oil-price scenario
Unfortunately, the most oil-intensive countries
(e.g. most developed nations) generally refuse to consider any reduction in
their oil burn, or prefer, like the USA, to threaten oil-exporting countries
with invasion, which in itself is a destabilising factor resulting in high oil
prices. Thus, the only countries able to increase their oil export supplies
(mainly OPEC) are under political, financial and domestic pressures.
6. Run-away oil prices would certainly precede the peak of net production of hydrocarbons because of physical shortage of oil and gas, and not necessarily due to the falling reserves that may not in the long term, satisfy world oil demand. The industry would then abandon the present pricing system after the price reaches $100 per bbl. Robert Mabro has discussed this possibility in the Oxford Energy Studies. These radical thoughts have crossed Mabro’s mind although he is a champion of the “free market system”.
8. There are many national, territorial, political, ideological, trade and other disputes and differences between India, China and Pakistan, but their oil consumption per capita, although rising fast, is minuscule compared to USA, France, Japan, Germany and UK. There are therefore good potentials for South-South cooperation and South-South initiatives for resolving the looming crisis.
The transition to alternate energy
Any sudden or rapid reduction in
10. Reducing oil consumption rapidly of the most oil-intensive countries, will buy time to put energy transitions in place. The Kyoto Treaty predicates large reduction of hydrocarbon consumption for countries, which have ratified the Treaty.
Oil Purchasing Rights (OPR):
12. OPR would help conserve the remaining oil, and to use it, even in the long term, to produce essential chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and to build durable and sustainable infrastructure.