В мире иссякают запасы нефти (снова)?

Цены на нефть сегодня значительно превышают 50 долларов США за баррель, частично благодаря кратковременным перебоям в снабжении, вызванным конфликтом в Ираке, трудовыми спорами в нефтяной промышленности Нигерии, конфликтом между "Юкосом" и правительством России, а также недавними ураганами во Флориде. Цены на нефть могут упасть, как только восстановится снабжение, однако спекулятивный эффект может удерживать их на относительно высоком уровне, ослабляя мировую экономику и понижая спрос на рынках ценных бумаг.

Даже временный скачок цен на нефть может иметь долгосрочные последствия из-за вызываемой им реакции в обществе. Высокие цены на нефть подогревают обсуждения будущего цен на нефть. Точно предсказать результаты подобных обсуждений невозможно, но существует вероятность того, что они размножат предположения о росте цен на нефть в будущем. Эксперты могут утверждать, что недавнее повышение цен было вызвано кратковременными факторами предложения, но сам факт повышения, тем не менее, придаст достоверность пугающим прогнозам.

Получившая сегодня распространение очередная "страшилка" касается развивающихся стран, в частности Китая и Индии, быстрый экономический рост которых (при отсутствии ограничений на выбросы в атмосферу в рамках Киотского протокола) рассматривается как источник огромного, ненасытного спроса на нефть. Основная идея заключается в том, что запасы нефти в мире иссякнут быстрее, чем мы думали, пока миллиарды людей в этих странах будут преследовать свои мечты о больших домах и спортивных автомобилях. Правдоподобно ли это?

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