Conventional wisdom in the oil world is that the issue in the future will not be a lack of demand but a scarcity of oil. But this view is challenged by less conventional trends that allow us to propose an alternative scenario in which demand for oil in the near future falls dramatically with the development of new or alternative sources of energy capable of taking over the hegemonic role played by oil. The article examines the environmental, technological, corporate and economic, and political factors which support this alternative scenario. This analysis is used to consider the implications for OPEC and especially Venezuela of a shift away from oil to alternative sources of energy. The Second OPEC Summit in Caracas in September 2000 provides an opportunity for OPEC to look to the future, to focus on the transition to a new energy paradigm and consider its consequences for oil producing countries.
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