Editorial comment ///

Let’s begin with a silly bet sent out by ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil) to CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates, part of IHS). It wasn’t bad marketing: I suspect that some magazine(s) will publish the supposed $100,000 bet. But eventually I came to see it as the publicity stunt that it was. CERA won’t take the bet, and even if they did, money would never change hands from the non-profit ASPO to the profitable CERA in nine years. The bet was whether CERA’s recent forecast of 112 million barrels a day of global “oil” production capacity by 2017 would materialize, up from about 87 million today. There was a lot of the usual loose language. Besides “oil” production capacity, which isn’t provable, what constituted “oil” wasn’t defined, and a new number for capacity in 2017 was offered based on today’s ratio of production to supposedly unused capacity, which, again, is not provable.

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