Whether we’re at the historically significant point of peak oil or not, one thing is for sure, many countries are burning it and consuming it more than ever before.
We stumbled across an article from The Economist, Burning Their Wealth. The Economist picks up on a really interesting angle of the Oil Consumption story, which focuses not on the volume of oil being used, but what it’s being consumed for. In short, for keeping cool. First the graphics, and after the bump, the story”
From the article:
“Saudi power-generating capacity has doubled in the past decade. Partly this is to mitigate the fearful heat: according to a report from Chatham House, a think-tank, air-conditioning units soak up half of all power generated at peak consumption periods.
The second relates to economic structure. It takes energy to produce energy: pumps must be powered and vast quantities of seawater desalinated. Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, sucks up nearly 10% of the country’s energy output. Attempts to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil, gas and petrochemicals have not gone far.
The third reason for rising Gulf consumption is the inefficiency of domestic energy markets. Some 65% of Saudi electricity is generated using black gold, even as successive price shocks and the relative inefficiency of oil generation have seen it all but phased out in rich countries. Oil is used with such profligacy because domestic consumption is massively subsidised. According to the International Energy Agency, global oil subsidies added up to $192 billion in 2010. OPEC countries accounted for $121 billion of the total…
Saudi Arabia is trying to develop nuclear and solar energy. But its fleet of oil-fired power stations will keep going for years. And as Mark Lewis of Deutsche Bank points out, two more big ones are now being built. On current trends the kingdom would become a net importer of oil by 2038 (unlikely though that is).”