In a provocative article in Bloomberg Opinion today, writer Noah Smith asks will oil be supplanted by electrification. The title, The Oil Age is Coming to a Close recalls similar thinking in the 2005-2007 era when many experts thought that a lack of oil supply would bring the oil era to an end. Now, however, there is a supply glut, so what leads Smith to suggest that the oil age is coming to a close? “Demand for crude is destined to decline” he suggests. This is driven by electrification of transportation among other factors, as electric vehicle sales are expected to accelerate after 2030.
Smith explores the impact on large oil communities – probably not too bad if they can adjust to new business opportunities, and on small communities and blue-collar oil industry workers – probably not too good if the example of coal is any predictor.
Oil dominates today. But perhaps not for that much longer.