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Peak Oil

The world in general and transport, in particular, are going through a time of
transition very important in energy, as everyone has noticed. So, what
happens? More importantly, what will happen?
Are certainly issues of vital strategic importance to all companies and all
sectors, especially the transport sector. But how to assess strategic issues
of such high complexity? What to do? how to prepare your company? I will
try to point out some general clues taking into account the materials I have
studied, obviously without having a crystal ball that allows divine the future.

In this context there are several themes and trends is crucial to note that
both the supply side or demand side of the fuel or the toe, if we look at the
issue from a strategic perspective more global and long term.

For example what is the "Peak Oil" and how important is this issue about the
The "Peak oil" is the (peak) at the time that will hit the maximum rate of
global petroleum extraction, after which the rate of extraction / production
will inevitably decline. The concept is based on history and observation of
the production of certain countries individually, whose production rate has
reached its own "peak".

The growth rate of oil extraction usually seems so rampant rise to the peak,
when it falls, sometimes abruptly, according to experts. This is not the
moment that ends the production of oil, but only when it begins its decline.

Obviously, this peak may be delayed for best expectations, the result of
technological innovation and the possibility that a higher price gives deeper
exploration into the subsoil. But the delay does not mean that the peak is
not reached in the coming years and that future expectations do not imply,
therefore, on the assumption of higher prices through speculation on the
prospects for growth.

The following graph we can see the "Peak Oil" target set, consisting of
several curves of different oil-producing countries cumulatively, can be
observed in the shape "U" or inverted "V". This chart pointed 2005 as the
year's peak, which came to be delayed, not yet knowing the exact moment
it occurs. As this peak will occur near and after the prices of oil and fuel will
tend to rise, unless demand is reduced.
Source: Wikipedia

Along with this trend in production, there are trends on the demand side,
such as on one hand the large world population and, secondly, the expected
exponential increase in capacity of vehicle purchase and fuel consumption
in countries developing countries, whose inhabitants are still on average,
low income per capita, but which have high growth rates which will naturally
tend to make the consumption and demand of fuel per capita to the average
levels of more developed countries, approaching Portugal and France / USA.
On the other hand, is marked by the worldwide trend of growth of individual
mobility at the expense of tenants, and the growth of motorization, over
such bicycle or pedestrian option, as is already observable in large Chinese
cities, which are no have bicycles to go to have motorcycles and cars, which
will inevitably lead to increased demand for fuel so rampant.
The awakening of giants, and its middle and lower classes, especially China,
India and Brazil, will have an unimaginable impact on the quest for black
gold. Trends in motorization and private transport are associated with
changes in the optimization of production, changes in attitudes and changes
of city planning, trends that usually drag on innovation and demand for
energy sources with demand.

Source: Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2006, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

No less important is the trend in cargo transportation to the growing use of

the highway, despite all the disincentive measures taken by cities, by
governments and the European Commission. The highway continues to be
the most economical, more flexible and faster in the interior of continents,
making our style of production, consumption and growth in globalization.

However, the highway has a higher energy consumption and greater release
of CO2 per tonne / km, which means sea and rail, as demonstrated by
several studies, such as the study of Raimondo Orsini, International Union of
Railways ( UIC), cited in United Nations Framework Conference on Climate
Changes-SB24, available on the Internet

So, what is ultimately the future of transportation? What trends are going to
keep and which ones are going to reverse? What fuels and technologies will
be used? The plane will lose importance as some futurologists? The
individual vehicle will lose importance? The road lost importance in favor of
rail and sea?

I sincerely believe that the need has led humanity to innovate in times of
difficulty, overcoming the technological problems and energy, leading to
growing consumption, individuality, activity, growth and mobility.

For this reason, I do not believe that the need for the removal of energy
source will be a limiting factor in the continuation of the trends of increasing
private transport, mechanization and motorization and economic growth, at
least until it reached the point of saturation physical space in emerging
countries before believing that it will use alternative fuels in a very
innovative and very quickly. The solutions are there and just need to be
The trend in fuel companies will try to be more and more energy companies,
whose chain of production themselves seek to dominate, since the full
production of hydrogen, bio-fuel.
Shell for example is already seeking to produce vegetable oil for biodiesel
from algae, a joint project with Volkswagen in Hawaii for the current
dependency that has the oil-producing countries, does not become a
dependency of the agricultural sector production of cereals and oilseeds,
and still focusing their arguments on the need to produce biodiesel from 3rd
and 4th generation, which does not lead to world hunger, and higher yields
per hectare of production, being cheaper than the result of agricultural
source and may have a direct processing into gasoline, almost 100% non-oil

In the transport sector, these trends might lead times of difficulty for
companies during the transition phase, with possible increases in energy
prices, changes in transport demand, the need for change in transportation
equipment and energy suppliers, but also may mean opportunities for the
transport of agricultural products, solid and liquid, and the production of
new fuels or new technologies.

Another issue will be the saturation of the roads in Europe, and in this
respect, regardless of the fuel that will be used, I have no doubt that the
railroad, air transport and maritime transport have an important role in
relieving the European road and rail networks, the segments of cargo and
passengers to contribute to the improvement of environmental conditions of
the people, and the only possibility of further growth in trade, production
and consumption patterns of goods in Europe. It seems inevitable