“Provided that in 2008 the number of cars sold is similar to that expected to be sold this year, Venezuela will not have surplus fuel production for export, and the country will be faced with the risk of resorting to imports.”
Hmmm… this follows closely on the heels of Mexico’s warnings about oil reserves. I think the first article is about finished gasoline instead of overall oil exports, but considering how much of Venezuela’s oil reserves are heavy crude, this isn’t good news.
As a reminder, here’s a list of who imports oil to the USA, courtesy of the DOE. As you can see, the top importers of oil to the USA are:
- Saudi Arabia
So… our number three and four exporters of oil are now warning that they’re either going to stop having oil available for export, or they’ll run out of economically feasible oil reserves. If this turns out to be true, we’ll be wishing for the days we only paid $3 a gallon at the pumps.
This is a good example of Jeffrey Brown’s Export Land Model in action, folks. Venezuela subsidizes gasoline prices, so there is little incentive for Venezuelans to restrict their consumption, and it’s unlikely they would do it anyway if it’s just going to go to the hated Americans…
I can’t foretell the future better than anyone else, but it sure looks to me like our current motoring lifestyle will be reaching it’s boundaries in the next 5-7 years. When Venezuela & Mexico stop exporting oil, who’ll pick up the slack? Odds are good no-one will be able to. Biofuels and the like will help a little bit, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think ethanol will save us from this approaching event.