Public meeting with ASPO President

UPDATE: click through for summary of talk.

ACT Peak Oil invites you to a public meeting with Professor Kjell Aleklett, International President, Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO), Professor in Physics at the Global Energy Systems Group, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Peak Oil - an end to economic growth?

5.30 for 6pm (refreshments served)
Monday 13 December 2010

Reception room
Legislative Assembly
London Circuit, Canberra
Hosted by Shane Rattenbury MLA
Further information: Jenny Goldie 6235 9190

Feel free to distribute the attached flyer.

Summary of talk

Professor Kjell Aleklett is a Swedish physicist and energy expert who cofounded ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas) with Colin Campbell in 2000, and coined the term 'Peak Oil'. He spoke to an audience of about 70 in a talk at the ACT Legislative Assembly, arranged by ACT Peak Oil.

A great deal of information was presented in his talk, via a power point presentation, information which would be difficult to summarise just from the talk. However, broadly, much of it concerned the coming peak oil crunch, whereby rising demand cannot be met by increased production, despite the absurdly optimistic projections by much of the oil industry and official agencies, sometimes with reliance, for instance, on 'reserves yet to be discovered'. Much of this standard peak oil information and analysis can be found on the ASPO website or similar websites.

Following are some of the more striking points made by Kjell Aleklett in his talk:

Due to the peak oil crunch, the next twenty years will be quite unlike the last twenty years.

Oil has been an enormously liberating material for humankind, because it is so readily usable, with 100 ml providing 1 kWh of energy, or with 50 litres of oil providing the energy of 1,000 days of human labour.

As result modern standards of living have become dependent on oil use.

Oil is derived from algae in sea sediments (not from plants, like coal), which explains why so many oil fields are increasingly under the sea, where production costs are inevitably higher.

The only way the Canadian oil sands can feasibly produce large amounts of oil is for the needed production energy to come from two nuclear power plants, to provide the heat needed to wash the sands.

World oil production divided by world population has been flat since the 1970s, but this will now fall, with falling oil production but increased population.

30% of all fossil fuel used is needed for food production, and the price of food is related to the price of oil. While there are big opportunities to make fuel from agricultural residues, nevertheless, agriculture will not be able to provide both food and fuel.

Sweden had a very low fossil fuel use in 1945, but by the 70s it had a far higher standard of living, with the third highest oil consumption per head in the world. Basically its rise in living standards relied on using cheap oil.

Aviation will be among the first industries to face a peak oil crunch. Aviation fuel is more difficult to make than other oil fuels. In particular, the US military, for uniformity sake, uses aviation fuel much more widely than just for aircraft, so it will face great challenges.

Oil will not reach a price of $US300 a barrel, because the US and other consuming economies could not withstand the strain, and economic growth would collapse.