Saudi Aramco Has a New Perspective on Peak Oil

Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Axios:

The release of the Saudi Aramco IPO prospectus is putting a fresh spotlight on a big question: the date when global oil demand will peak. The document released over the weekend includes estimates that demand will grow until around 2035 before leveling off, but that the inflection point could occur by the late 2020s.

Many years ago I wrote at length about the prospect of peak oil: that is, the year that we’d be pumping the stuff out of the ground as fast as we could, leading to shortages as demand kept growing. That turned out to be a groundless concern thanks to the sudden growth of the fracking industry, which has increased the global supply of oil by upwards of 10 percent or so.

Now, apparently, the concern is just the opposite: not supply constraints but demand constraints, thanks to the growth of solar and wind and other technologies that are reducing the need for oil. This is now being taken seriously enough that it’s affecting the outlook for major oil companies.

That sounds like bad news for Exxon but good news for all the rest of us. I sure hope there’s a real basis for this concern.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate