The Inescapable Decline of Oil: Will the EU Suffer the First Shortages?


This article is published in Futuribles journal no.443, juil.-août 2021

For decades now there has been talk of an imminent peaking of the oil supply (so-called ‘peak oil’), yet no massive investment in a changed energy model has ensued. Peak oil has been reached (in 2008, according to the International Energy Agency, though a small upturn was observed in 2018), but the announcement of that fact has barely changed things. It wasn’t so much the prospect of an oil shortage in the very near future as the fight against climate change that finally prompted efforts at energy transition. As Matthieu Auzanneau, the executive director of the Shift Project, shows here, this decline in oil production seems inescapable, given the state of the reserves and the oil companies’ levels of investment. And it will very probably have serious social, economic and geopolitical consequences, particularly in the countries of Europe, which are highly dependent on external supplies and have still not done enough to develop alternative energy sources. With the decline in oil production following a bell-curve trajectory, there is in fact every chance that it will occur suddenly and massively. It will be pointless then to regret that attention was not paid earlier to forecasts of that decline which date from the mid-1950s, forecasts which geologists deeply involved in the oil sector firmly substantiated as early as 1998…
#Commerce international #Consommation #Développement durable #Industrie minière #Modes de vie #Pétrole

Inscrivez-vous à la newsletter

Tous les mois, recevez une sélection de nos dernières publications, des prochaines formations et des événements à venir. Et ponctuellement des informations sur les activités de Futuribles.


Votre adresse de messagerie est uniquement utilisée pour vous envoyer la newsletter de Futuribles. Vous pouvez à tout moment utiliser le lien de désabonnement intégré dans la newsletter. En savoir plus sur la gestion de vos données et vos droits.


Futuribles International est un centre de réflexion sur l’avenir.
Ses travaux visent à comprendre les grandes transformations en cours. Ils intègrent la dimension du temps long en insistant sur les marges de manœuvre des acteurs et les stratégies possibles.