Were Chinese oil consumption to reach US per capita levels, its demand would rise ninefold, while Indian consumption would have to go up 23-fold. That would push global oil demand up to 260 million barrels per day, compared with just under 90m barrels a day at present. Clearly, that’s not going to happen. But along the way, some combination of much higher prices, a setback to developing nation growth or a switch to alternative fuel sources might be needed; all of which could be very disruptive.
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