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More Cars, Less Gas? U.S. Set to Hit Peak of Oil Consumption

Global demand also expected to dip as more efficient vehicles take to the road.

by on Mar.02, 2017

Americans have been pumping a lot more gas since the recession, but that surge may be ending.

Americans suck down a lot of oil, a large share of it to fuel the 260 million vehicles on U.S. roadways. But demand for gasoline is expected to start declining by 2019, according to a new study.

And the U.S. isn’t unique. The study by Scottish research firm WoodMackenzie predicts that even with global car sales on track to set new records well into the next decade, global oil demand should also peak as early as 2021.

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Fuel for Thought!

That might come as a surprise considering the surge in vehicle demand in emerging markets like China and India, especially as motorists worldwide shift from passenger cars to crossovers and other light trucks. But the WoodMac study contends that these trends will be offset by stricter U.S. and global mileage standards, as well as more efficient vehicles, many using zero-emissions powertrain technologies.

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What if the Pumps Run Dry?

Warnings about "peak" oil are growing again.

by on Nov.30, 2009

Even some of the petroleum industry's top leaders now are warning we may be reaching a peak for global oil production.

Some of the petroleum industry's leaders now are warning, not without self interest, we may be reaching peak global oil production.

Peak oil is a controversial theory that suggests oil production is peaking and will invariably decline over the coming years, leaving the industrial world facing short supplies.

In its own way, the theory is more controversial than climate change and rests on interpretation of arcane numbers.

Indeed, there are those who point to recent finds of giant oil reserves off places like Brazil and argue that there’s far more oil left in the ground than we can imagine.  However, the peak oil advocates are now picking up support and their warnings ought to be of at least passing interest to auto industry planners, some of which have already embraced it, notably General Motors.

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In the past, anyone speaking out about oil supply challenges was usually stereotyped as a fringe element with little knowledge about the oil industry, notes a Denver-based organization called the Association for Study of Peak Oil & Gas.

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