Stretched to Breaking Point
At this point I move beyond what was discussed at the conference to restate how I see the global picture today. There are two themes related to oil supply and demand that have been getting progressively more tense since the low oil prices that marked the first phase of the credit and oil crisis in 2008. Both of these are set against the evolving credit crisis which threatens to dwarf supply constraints with even more severe demand destruction.
Violence, unrest and tension in the Middle East
It does not appear that the Middle East can now go back to the undemocratic, authoritarian but otherwise generally stable regimes that previously held sway for several decades now. Any number of scenarios could further disrupt livelihoods and oil supply in the region.
How long can China increase oil consumption?
Despite global oil supply breaking slightly above the plateau range of the last few years, most of the growth in demand for oil in China has been met by demand destruction in OECD countries. How much longer before Chinese growth (ie. more than just a ‘slowdown’) is capped by lack of oil or lack of a world economy to export to?
From Phil Hart; http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9232#more
Americans killed annually by diseases due to excess weight: 280,000
Increased risk of heart disease for obese people: Double to triple
Increased risk of gallstones for obese people: Double to triple
Increased risk of diabetes for very obese people: 40 times greater
Obesity rate among the general U.S. population: 18 percent
Obesity rate among vegetarians: 6 percent
Obesity rate among vegans: 2 percent
U.S. children who are overweight or obese: 25 percent
U.S. vegetarian children who are overweight or obese: 8 percent
U.S. children who eat the recommended levels of fruits, vegetables, and grains: 1 percent
U.S. vegan children who eat the recommended levels of fruits, vegetables, and grains: 50 percent