Global demand for oil has stayed roughly steady at 2 liters/capita/day for the past few decades according to a paper by Joyce M. Dargy and Dermot Gately.

fsu chart - peak oil

But this apparent stability masks a more volatile reality. Since 1971, OECD countries have made major efficiency strides, the Soviet Union saw an economic collapse, and the non-OECD developing world has seen soaring demand. The core prediction of the Dargy and Gately’s paper is that we have moved into an era of much more inelastic demand. In other words, whereas price spikes in the 1970s caused major pullbacks in consumption, similar price spikes these days don’t result in the same reductions. Click here for full text of research paper

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