Nearly 40 years on Wall Street, plus 12 years before that working for a major oil company, equals a lifetime of experience for Charles T. Maxwell, senior energy analyst at Weeden & Co. Princeton and Oxford-educated Maxwell has laid out in stark, uncomplicated terms what might be called the “Nightmare on Main Street” that he sees barreling toward America and the world.
It all boils down to this, Maxwell told EnergyTechStocks.com: We live in a world where there is only about 1.2% more oil available each year, not enough to keep up with 1.5% annual demand growth. Between now and 2010, this supply shortfall will be made up through a drawdown in inventories, helped out by a slowdown in demand in 2008 and 2009 due to a recession or near-recession in the U.S.
But in 2010, Maxwell said, the shortfall will become greater than can be made up by what’s still in inventory, and thus will begin a long period of global oil scarcity that will get worse starting in 2012 or 2013, which is when Maxwell foresees a “peak” in conventional oil production. It gets even worse in 2015, which is when he expects a peak in the production of all liquids, a category that includes condensates, tar sands oil and biodiesel.