¿La producción de petróleo alcanzó un pico?

El ifn del petróleo abundante

OXFORD – A lo largo de la historia de la industria petrolera, el miedo y la preocupación por el inminente agotamiento de las reservas de petróleo ha sido un tema recurrente. Estos sentimientos muchas veces se propagan y se apoderan de la imaginación pública cuando se produce un rápido incremento de la demanda petrolera, aumentos sostenidos de los precios energéticos e incertidumbre geopolítica. De modo que el discurso de hoy sobre la escasez de petróleo, que comenzó a principios del siglo pasado, no debería causar sorpresa.

Quienes creen en la escasez de petróleo apuntan al sostenido incremento promedio anual de los precios del petróleo desde 2002 hasta 2008, a la producción menguante en muchas zonas del mundo y a la falta (hasta hace poco frente a las costas de Brasil) de hallazgos de petróleo de gran escala en las últimas décadas. Todos estos factores llevan a creer que la producción de petróleo alcanzó un pico. Frente a la implacable presión del sector de demanda, motivada principalmente por los países de alto crecimiento como China e India, algunos predicen precios energéticos estratosféricos, escasez de oferta, dificultades económicas y sociales y hasta guerras por los recursos.

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