原油产量已达顶峰?

发自牛津——贯穿整个石油工业史,有关石油储量即将枯竭的恐惧和担忧已经成了一个反复翻炒的话题。这种情绪还常常四处传播,不时占据公众对于石油需求剧增,能源价格飙升以及由此而来的地缘政治不稳定的想象。所以当今对于石油匮乏的讨论只不过是发生在上世纪末本世纪初的讨论的延续,对人们来说应该是见怪不怪了。

“石油枯竭论”者指出,自2002年至2008年持续上涨的年平均油价以及全球多个地区不断下滑的石油产量,加上近几十年来大规模油田发现的减少(直到最近巴西海岸大型油田的发现才出现转机),所有事实都证明了一个观点,那就是石油生产量已经达到顶峰。面对高速发展的中印等国持续不断的需求压力,有人因此预测说未来能源价格将保持高昂、能源供给短缺,经济和社会都将面临困境,甚至将因此引发能源战争。

鉴于石油是种不可再生能源,在某种意义上说全世界确实正在耗尽其储量。除非国际需求突然萎缩,未来石油生产将会在某一节点上达到顶峰并趋于枯竭。但是这样的预言简直跟废话无异。如果想令预言有意义,这些石油恐慌论者们必须同样预言石油生产顶峰到来的时间,那时候的能源需求状况,以及产量的下滑模式。

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