The oil company with the best strategic planning says the day of reckoning is nigh:

World demand for oil and gas will outstrip supply within seven years, according to Royal Dutch Shell.

The oil multinational is predicting that conventional supplies will not keep pace with soaring population growth and the rapid pace of economic development.

Jeroen van der Veer, Shell’s chief executive, said in an e-mail to the company’s staff this week that output of conventional oil and gas was close to peaking. He wrote: “Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand.”

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I am a tad surprised that Shell doesn’t understand just how much global warming will overwhelm all other concerns:

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The boss of the world’s second-largest oil company forecast that, regardless of government policy initiatives and investment in renewables, the world would need more nuclear power and unconventional fossil fuels, such as oil sands.

“Using more energy inevitably means emitting more CO2 at a time when climate change has become a critical global issue,” he wrote.

We don’t “need” the climate-destroying oil sands, though Canada will probably continue developing them. Ultimately, this country — and the world — will have to be smart enough to ban their use (as California essentially has done with its low-carbon fuel standard), or we will not be able to save our livable climate.

Still, if Shell says conventional oil will peak within seven years, the world should listen.

This post was created for, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.