Crying Wolf (is gas the issue)?
It is interesting to listen to people's reasons for not wishing to consider hydrocarbon depletion.
One is that people have "cried wolf" before. The point about that story is that in the end there was a wolf.
Another is the Vince Cable (who used to be an economist for Shell) position who argues that as the price goes up there will be more oil extractable. There is some truth in this position, but it still does not deal with the fact that there will be a year of peak production and after that production will come down.
This is faced by the fact that the deposits of oil and gas people are going after are now smaller. Ramco's saga where they went for a gas field and found it didn't work as expected will happen more and more frequently. There will be a resource cost issue and a risk management issue for this.
The interesting question rests with some of Chris Vernon's
analysis of potential gas shortages. It sounds nice and easy to import gas. There was a good photo in the press of a boy stealing gas in a big balloon and cycling away with it. Transporting gas is not easy. You either need a pipeline or to liquify it (liguifaction takes a lot of energy). It remains that the gas needs to come from somewhere.
40.6% of our primary energy consumption is Natural Gas and 31.8% Petroleum.