Time to prepare for oil shock – motoring expert

Wednesday 13 June 2012, 2:07PM
By Dog & Lemon Guide

Looming conflict in the Middle East could trigger a severe oil crisis, says the car review website

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“Israel and Iran appear to be on collision course. There has been a major military buildup in Israel, possibly as a prelude to a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

“This could easily trigger a major conflict in the Middle East, and just as easily disrupt the supply of nearly one third of the world’s oil.”

“Even the threat of war is likely to cause a sharp spike in fuel prices. Global oil supplies are already stretched. Sanctions against Iran, together with disruptions to oil supplies in Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and the North Sea, have already cut the global supply by 2 million barrels per day.”

Matthew-Wilson says the current situation is alarmingly similar to the 1970s oil crisis, which caused global disruption and pitched many economies into recession.

“All the signs point to a looming crisis, yet there’s not much sign that the government is actually taking notice. In the minds of politicians, we can still sprawl our cities out onto the landscape and connect everyone by roads. The problem is, what do we do when the oil runs out?”

“If this Middle East conflict does not occur, it’s possible that prices will temporarily drop due to the emerging recession, which will reduce global oil demand. However, the simple fact is, the cheap oil that has sustained us for the last hundred years is mostly gone and it’s not coming back.”

“Electric cars are a decade away from being a practical proposition for the average motorist. Hybrid cars are only a mild improvement. Most biofuels are either unaffordable, impractical, cause environmental damage or rob land that is needed for growing food. Even where biofuels are feasible, they’re simply not available in sufficient quantities to effectively substitute for fossil fuels. Any shortage of oil will inevitably drive up the price of LPG, making it less affordable. A decade or so after the cheap oil runs out, the cheap LPG will start to run out as well.”

“There’s no quick fix to the energy crisis. In the longer term, we’re all going to have to use less energy, and that means less urban sprawl, smaller houses, less plastic junk that we don’t really need and less wasted trips in our cars.”