Since 1973, the volume of oil needed to produce $1,000 of global GDP has fallen by more than half to 0.43 barrels or 18 gallons. This change reflects what a study terms a regime change from a supply-constrained to a demand-constrained oil market. The role of oil in the global economy, the authors wrote, has changed in ways that are irreversible. For one, global peak oil demand is a serious prospect, one that speakers on the webinar projected could arrive between 2029 and 2033.

And the upshot of such a change? A demand peak would hamper the ability of low-cost producers to raise prices by cutting production.

“A shrinking global market is unlikely to leave space for the role OPEC has played over the entire period from the end of the old regime in the 1970s to the dawn of the present one,” they wrote.

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