on the Australian Hubbert Peak
Brian Fleay is a retired civil engineer who worked for over 30 years at the Water Authority of Western Australia. He is currently an associate of Murdock University's Institute of Science and Technology Policy and convener of the Economic Policy Working Group for the Greens WA.
Natural Gas: “Magic Pudding” or Depleting Resource [2002 November]
Earlier this year statements on Australia’s expected rapid decline in oil self-sufficiency were published by ... Akehurst ... and ... Jones ... in the context of the approaching decline of world oil production....
Both advocated that Australia shift to natural gas-based transport fuels, and that transport demand management and public transport infrastructure provision should have a high priority.... Industry and governments promote visions of vast quantities of cheap natural gas which should be rapidly developed and sold off. A “Magic Pudding” mentality prevails, reminiscent of Norman Lindsay’s famous story where no matter how much of the “pudding” was eaten there was always more left to eat.
These visions ignore the finite nature of the resource, its strategic importance in the transition to a world 'beyond petroleum', and the implications of 90 per cent of our natural gas being located offshore from the north west coast. But do we have vast reserves of natural gas as we are led to believe? ... This paper elaborates on the serious oil shortages Australia faces and the limited scope for natural gas based fuels to substitute for petrol and diesel in the context of an approaching world decline in oil production.
A Lot of Gas: Visions, Fantasies and Reality. In May 1997 the Australian Gas Association published its Gas Supply and Demand Study projecting high local consumption and export growth to 2030 and requiring a trebling of production (AGA 1997). How realistic are these dreams? How does projected production growth match with the best estimates of ultimate Australian gas production? [2001 December]
Background Paper: Electricity Reform Task Force, Government of Western Australia, submission by Brian J Fleay for Robin Chapple MLC. [2001 November]
USA`s Triple Energy Whammy in Electric Power, Natural Gas & Oil. The USA is in a major electric power crisis. Peak power demand is exceeding reliable generation and transmission capacity, especially in California and on the west coast... [2001 January 10]
Oil Supply: The Crunch Has Arrived!! "Only a significant fall in IEA's expected world oil consumption for 2000 can reduce the risk of a supply shortfall later this year, and then only if OPEC substantially or completely lifts its production quotas in March.... Supply shortfalls are inevitable after 2000 to at least 2003 due to the lack of appropriate investment in the Persian Gulf countries. If the political obstacles to this investment are delayed unduly then the supply shortfalls will last longer." [2000 March 13].
Climaxing Oil, a comprehensive article on the future of oil with emphasis upon the Australian situation, by Mr. Fleay, also available in pdf format.
The Decline of the Age of Oil: Petrol Politics: Australia's Road Ahead. Read a commentary on the back cover of Brian Fleay's recent book.
Remember the oil shocks of the 1970s...? from The Australian. [T]he spectre of a world running out of cheap oil has been revisited by former Perth engineer Mr. Brian Fleay in his book "The Decline of the Age of Oil." JOHN MACLEAY reports.
Running on Empty. The Australian, Thursday, 24 Oct 1996, page 27, The world still has plenty of oil, but extracting it is becoming increasingly expensive. Comments about Brian Fleay's work. JOHN MACLEAY reports.