A crise energética alastra à escala global. As notícias são alarmantes: A Rússia, que é o segundo maior exportador mundial de petróleo, tem vindo a registar decréscimo no volume total de produção nos últimos meses. É provável que o maior país do mundo tenha atingido o pico de produção petrolífera:
Russian Output Slumps As Oil Price Hits a Record
By GUY CHAZAN and NEIL KING JR.
April 15, 2008
Russian oil production, for years a vital font of new crude for world energy markets, has begun to stagnate and even slump, adding to market uncertainties that have helped push oil prices to records even as the global economy founders.
Russian supply in the first three months of this year fell for the first time this decade, averaging 10 million barrels a day, a 1% drop from the year-earlier period, according to the International Energy Agency, the industrialized world's energy watchdog. That is dismal news for a country that saw double-digit-percentage output growth earlier this decade.
The slowdown in Russia, the world's second-biggest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, has intensified already widespread concerns about long-term oil supply amid diminishing output from once-huge fields like Alaska's Prudhoe Bay and Mexico's Cantarell field in the Gulf of Mexico. Fading optimism that strong Russian output this year would offset ebbing flows from once-reliable sources like the North Sea has increased jitters in an already tense oil market.
Oil companies are dealing with the depletion of reserves in western Siberia by diversifying. Lukoil, for example, is focusing on new provinces like the North Caspian Sea, and expanding abroad in places like Turkmenistan.
But even new developments are failing to offset the decline. Sakhalin 1, a huge project off Russia's east coast led by Exxon Mobil Corp., accounted for much of Russia's production growth in 2007. But output there will drop by more than 25% this year, according to OAO Rosneft, the state-run oil giant that is a partner in the project. In a statement, Exxon said it "has met and continues to meet or exceed the project production targets approved by the Russian authorities."