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Peak Oil, Implications for planning ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Oil vulnerability: managing the risk Wally Wight.

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Presentation on theme: "Peak Oil, Implications for planning ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Oil vulnerability: managing the risk Wally Wight."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peak Oil, Implications for planning ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Oil vulnerability: managing the risk Wally Wight ASPO Brisbane – 04 June 2013

2 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Oil depletion’s impact on human settlement is not new Global discovery peaked in 1964 USA production peaked in 1971 Canada (once considered inexhaustible) peaked in 1973 Australia peaked in 2000 I only became aware of peak oil (though not by that name) nearly 60 years ago by land use change when my first school closed due to a lack of students. The Turner Valley Oilfield, Alberta, Canada (scene of my childhood and a microcosm of the global scene), had peaked 15 years before.

3 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas The Turner Valley Oil Rush 14 May 1914, Dingman No 1 blew in: It hit pay dirt at 800 metres depth yielding cu m/day of natural gas pushing out a gusher of oil Within 24 hours, promoters had formed more than 500 oil companies!

4 During the “boom”, a string of “shantytowns” mushroomed: Naptha Glen Mede (my first school) Hartell Mercury Little Chicago (Royalties) population 1350 Little New York (Longview) ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Community development

5 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Use and Abuse: “Hell’s half-acre” Up to the 1940’s, Turner Valley had been the most productive field in the entire British Empire: barrels of oil/day 20 million Cu M of gas/day Gas had little market value and the “excess” (enough to satisfy New York City’s energy needs) was simply burned off in massive flares. Production peaked in 1940.

6 After the peak: 1950’s reduced gas pressure meant pumps were required Automation reduced labour demand, resulting in job losses and depopulation. 1960’s depeted oil levels were addressed by water injection. 1970’s more wells and pumps were introduced to extract from increasingly isolated pockets. Current flurry of horizontal drilling and new pumping technology. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Changing Technologies

7 “Rural renewal” of townships Naptha Glen Mede Hartell Mercury (refinery explosion in 1951) Royalties All reconverted to farmland Longview the only survivor ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Community deconstruction

8 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Lessons from this past experience: Oil depletion is real, and already happening. Wastage and excesses make the impacts orders of magnitude worse. 70+ years post-peak, there is still oil to be had from Turner Valley, but progressively lower in volume and more difficult and expensive to extract. We need to recognise that it is happening. We need to curb our wastage and excess early to minimise the impact. Globally, we are already very late in preparing and responding to the end of cheap oil.

9 So when do we have to act? ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas If a crash program to reduce oil use or to switch from oil to renewable energy had begun: 20 years before Peak Oil (from 1986?): Possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period. Slight economic disruptions. 10 years before Peak Oil (from 1996?): Liquid fuels shortfall for roughly a decade after the time that oil would have peaked. Moderate economic disruptions. 0 years before Peak Oil (from 2006?): Significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two decades. Severe economic disruptions (as started in 2008? 2 nd dip soon?)

10 Current switch to “unconventionals” ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Already, we are relying more on unconventional sources, and are now facing the risks and consequences. Actual 1999 BP advertisement

11 Can alternative fuels help? ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

12 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Likely Oil Depletion “Events” 1. Sudden critical supply interruption Sharp price rises Reduced availability of supply (queueing, rationing) 2. Intermittent supply constraints Volatile price fluctuations (our experience of the last five years), and/or Sharp volatility of demand affected by price (ditto) 3. Progressive supply constraints global increase in demand competition Increased retention of reserves by exporters, and associated price rises (CSIRO models $8.00/litre)

13 Transport is dependent on oil ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Australia’s oil consumption: 72% for transport 8.5% for mining 7.1% for chemicals Oil-based plastics are Highly vulnerable Toxic and non-recyclable Minimal local value capture 4.8% for agriculture Transport is over 90% oil dependent

14 Energy consumed by vehicles (Qld) More than half of energy is consumed by private passenger cars Trucks and light commercial vehicles share most of the balance ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

15 Australia relies disproportionately on road transport. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas In spite of increasing vulnerability, the proportion of freight taken on trucks is actually growing. Our dispersed population and economic activity makes the flexibility of trucking compelling. Transport infrastructure investment tends to favour roads to facilitate increased road freight.

16 Our communities are at risk For any decision regarding capital expenditure or operations: Will this initiative exacerbate oil vulnerability? Or will it reduce vulnerability? The viability and sustainability of our communities’ are at stake. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

17 We can’t simply build our way out of oil vulnerability. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Reliance on more infrastructure as a possible solution is problematic. Conventional construction of transport infrastructure is still very oil intensive in both materials and machinery

18 So how can we respond?. Identify and quantify oil usage in each sector and operation, Identify vulnerable activities and processes, Review how critical those vulnerable activities and processes are, then Assess the risks and consequences of the oil depletion events. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

19 We require a transformation ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas From: Sprawling, Car-based monocultures To: Functionally diverse, Locally self-reliant, Economically productive, Socially inclusive, Energy and water efficient, Less carbon intensive, and More resilient settlement patterns

20 Post-Peak, How will we exchange goods and services?. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

21 Choice of transit modes ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Walking and cycling are most sustainable; Buses, trams and trains carry people more efficiently and amenably than cars do...and can share the public realm; Ferries (or kayaks) turn the rivers and the Bay from barriers to connectors …and make transit an absolute pleasure!

22 Using domestic solar to charge the car frees us from hydrocarbons Energy storage in the car’s battery addresses one of the key challenges of domestic solar The effectiveness of the combination will depend on when the car is being charged and when used. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Integrate home and vehicle energy.

23 Goods and Services can be Produced and Exchanged Locally. ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Integration of land use to minimise transport - (compact, accessible and permeable mixed-use centres to live, work and play, requiring minimum motorised travel) Use public transport, walking and cycling Buy local – reduce commodity kilometres Substitute oil-dependent products in favour of renewable and local alternatives Get used to living with less – human exchange is more important than commodity exchange.

24 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Designing our Urban “places” Our cities and “places” must support human exchange …not just “keep the vehicles moving”. We live in cities to maximise exchange with a minimum of travel. Only at the pedestrian scale and at pedestrian pace, is valuable human exchange possible. Reducing reliance on vehicles not only reduces oil vulnerability, but will help our cities function.

25 What can place-based planning do? Identify opportunities to reduce vulnerability Reinforce land use to minimise travel (the most economical trip is the trip not taken) Change modes, Change logistics, Substitute less vulnerable activities and processes, Find efficiencies and economies for activities and processes that cannot be avoided Find alternative energies or fuels ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

26 Social and Land use Responses ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Transport vulnerability is addressed by non- transport solutions TOD: Co-location and intensification of diverse land uses Localisation and self- containment of employment, supply chains, production, and economic activity

27 Some Councils have taken the initiative to address vulnerability of not just their own operations, but also their communities. Maribyrnong, Vic Sterling, WA Sunshine Coast, Qld Gold Coast, Qld ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Local government’s role

28 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Statutory support was emerging. Towards Q Target: Cut by one-third Queenslanders’ carbon footprint with reduced car and electricity use Qld Government had adopted an oil vulnerability report and was preparing an Oil Vulnerability Strategy FNQ and SEQ Regional Plans require oil vulnerability to be addressed – but will these provisions survive?

29 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas …and professional interest ASPO has long supported initiatives to raise awareness (eg. Brisbane Chapter locally-produced movie “Australia Pumping Empty”) The Planning Institute of Australia dedicated its December 2010 Australian Planner issue to peak oil and is preparing a book of the findings, ASPO Brisbane and Griffith University are hosting this oil vulnerability symposium. So the oil vulnerability issue is gaining credence and traction…

30 What we must do to respond to peak oil is exactly what must be done for urban transformation Transition is an awesome responsibility Are we ready? ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Conclusions

31 ASPO-Australia Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Thank you Wally Wight Coordinator Brisbane Chapter ASPO Australia Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute


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