Lower Oil Production Equals Trouble

by Michael Weinberg, Contributing Writer

Inside This Section:
Peak Oil Overview
Lower Oil Production Equals Trouble
Peak Oil and Financial Markets
Peak Oil, Global Clashes and Uncertainty

Even production shortfalls (as per production demands) as small as five to fifteen percent could lead to a devastating explosive rise in prices. The oil crisis of 1979 experts indicate included a production to demand ratio shortfall of only five percent! Similarly, government intervention was required several years ago when natural gas production to demand ratio fell short by five percent resulting in a 400% increase in prices in California. These rising costs are not only of concern to drivers of automobiles. The solution is not quite as simple as lowering the thermostat and piling on blankets on a cold winter night. At this point anything can help, but also consider the following:

Lower Oil Production Equals Trouble


Food Production and Storage


Experts estimate it requirtes 10 calories of fossil fuels to produce every calorie of food eaten in the United States

Pesticides and commerical fertilizers are made from oil or natural gas (also declining in production)

Food storage systems such as refrigerators are produced in plants requiring oil for power. Such devices are distrubted using oil-powered vehicles. Most of such devices being produced today use electricity which is derived from either natural gas or coal(also peaking currently).

Average distance food travels to reach consumer in United States: 1500 miles. Average distance food travels to reach consumer in Canada: 5000 miles.

Simple to Complex Technology: Problems, Problems


The production of jeans, asphalt, automobiles, computers, microchips, and the internet all require vast amounts of energy all directly connecting to oil. Practically all sources of food require simple technology utilizing oil as fuel such as tractors and power tools. Likewise, advanced crop maintenance and harvesting technology are highly oil-dependent. The automobiles and the roads they use are dependent upon oil for the life-cycle of their production. As a result the entire food and nationwide, even worldwide, distribution network will be crippled when production falls even slightly.

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