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The Carbon Crunch$
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Dieter Helm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300186598

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300186598.001.0001

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Are we running out of fossil fuels?

Are we running out of fossil fuels?

(p.138) Chapter 7 Are we running out of fossil fuels?
The Carbon Crunch

Dieter Helm

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on fossil fuel price forecasts, which hold the current policies on climate change together. Peak oil theorists started in the United States with an underlying assumption that the United States' geology had been thoroughly surveyed and was well understood. The technological progress not only makes it possible to find and exploit new reserves, and to bring abundant shale gas and oil to market, but also makes it possible to get more oil out of existing wells. Over the period to 2020, and indeed beyond, when the price of oil is supposed to rise strongly and thereby render these investments economic, the temporary factors may well dissipate. Indeed, the combination of the unconventional and the new technologies may point toward a very different outcome, with all the political and social upheaval this may cause the Middle Eastern countries.

Keywords:   fossil fuels, climate change, reserves, oil price, unconventional, technological progress

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