Why The Possibility Of Peak Demand Worries Oil Producers

Some disagree about when and whether the world will begin using less oil, but some energy companies are already planning for an oil-free future.

By Alexandra HartJuly 10, 2017 12:21 pm

One day, we’ll reach the maximum extraction of petroleum, or what’s called “peak oil,” according to a theory that’s been around since the 1950s. But peak oil is currently nowhere in sight, as more petroleum reserves are discovered, and drilling becomes more sophisticated. Another theory could end up overriding the idea that we’ll keep using oil until nothing’s left: peak demand is the point at which the world’s thirst for oil starts to decrease, and some energy companies are incorporating this idea into their business strategy.

ClipperData’s Director of Commodity Research Matt Smith says moves toward manufacturing more hybrid and electric vehicles, along with government policies discouraging fossil-fuel use, are among the reasons peak demand could one day become a reality.

“If you listen to the IEA…they believe we’re not going to hit peak demand until past 2040,” Smith says. “If you listen to one of the oil majors, such as Royal Dutch Shell, they believe it could happen as early as mid-next decade.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What governmental factors point toward, and away from, the possibility of peak demand.

– Where electric-vehicle production is accelerating.

– How oil companies are responding to the possibility of peak demand.

– How developing nations are moving toward cleaner energy sources.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.