Demand for oil is continuing to grow, and threatens to burn up excess oil capacity by 2012, according to a new report released today by the International Energy Agency.
Excess capacity in OPEC is forecast to drop by 2 million gallons per day by 2009, and to virtually zero out by 2012. It won't take until 2012 -- or 2009 for that matter -- for the cost of that tight supply to ripple through the economy straight down to the American homeowner and car driver.
Worldwide demand for oil is forecast to increase 11.2% in the next five years. "It is possible that the supply crunch could be deferred -- but not by much," the report's executive summary reads.
Even a slowdown in the global economy would give no more than a one-year cushion, before the world reaches "the point at which oil demand growth surpasses the growth in global oil capacity," the report reads.
While this imbalance has a lot to do with oil pumping capacity and political volatility, it sounds an awful lot like "peak oil" -- the point at which the Earth's supply of fossil fuel oil is pumped at its maximum rate, leaving less and less oil available each year, even if demand increases.
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