The ASPO Australia web site has an excellent article that uses Australia as an example to provide perspective on peak oil. The article, Peak Oil Down Under, is written by Dave Cohen from ASPO USA. To quote Mr Cohen’s opening paragraph:
Australia serves as a microcosm of a world entering the peak oil era. It can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Aussie oil production has peaked. As their oil companies struggle to offset production losses as demand grows, Australians must face up to the stark choices these circumstances present. One road, taken by the United States long ago, creates dangerous, ever-growing dependencies on imported oil to fill the supply and demand gap. The other road, leading to energy independence and security, spawns alternatives that allow Australia to move beyond oil. Will the Land Down Under seize the opportunity they now have to make the right choice?
Despite four years of high oil prices, this report sees increasing market tightness beyond 2010, with OPEC spare capacity declining to minimal levels by 2012 … It is possible that the supply crunch could be deferred [by decreased demand growth] – but not by much.