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  • Crude awakenings
  • Oil’s endgame could be highly disruptive
  • The oil shocks of the future will be driven by demand, not supply
  • FOR DECADES, the biggest fears about oil centred on its supply. The lesson was first learnt half a century ago, when the Arab members of OPEC banned exports to America and other supporters of Israel in the Arab-Israeli war. Today you might think that the link between energy and geopolitics has been mercifully severed. Even as war has returned to the Middle East and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it a pariah to the West, oil markets have been largely quiescent. In fact, however, a new phase is beginning—one in which oil demand, not supply, will be the primary influence on energy markets. This shift will bring with it profound geopolitical consequences.

    Governments everywhere are designing policies to reduce the demand for oil and boost alternative sources of energy, as they seek to fight climate change. Technologies such as those behind electric vehicles are only becoming cheaper and more advanced. The coming peak and subsequent decline of global demand for oil will determine prices and production over the decades to come.

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