Oil price volatility and its impact on Kenyan families

In 2008 I completed an MSc in Environment and Development at the University of Edinburgh, passing with distinction. This is the abstract of my dissertation.

“It was found that there was a wide body of evidence supporting two views over the future of oil supply: an ‘optimistic view’ stating that there is enough oil to provide for increases in supply at least until 2030, and a ‘pessimistic view’ that oil supply will decline before 2015. The differences in forecasts stem from disagreement over the total reserves remaining, the quantity of resources available from ‘unconventional sources’, and future predictions of reserve growth. Both views agreed that dwindling supply in non-OPEC countries will increase the amount of oil controlled by OPEC nations, increasing supply volatility.

“As a substitute for oil, natural gas supply is closely related to that of oil and so ‘pessimists’ insist that gas production will peak shortly after that of oil. Known resources of coal are thought to be enough to last hundreds of years at current rates of consumption. Fuels such as petroleum, diesel, LPG and paraffin are derived from oil and gas and as such their supply is closely related.

“The report discussed how three Kenyan households’ livelihoods would be affected by the possible increases in fuel scarcity. It was found that without mitigation fuel scarcity could change employment patterns, increase migration, deforestation and social differentiation, and reduce gender equality, life expectancy, provision of education and healthcare.

“The report recommends a mitigation strategy of increased technology transfer and funding to allow increased access to electricity and supply of renewable sources of fuel. The encouragement of exploitation of fossil fuel sources and increased use of LPG is not recommended as it will exacerbate climate change effects, have few benefits to the poorest, and be unsustainable under all three scenarios.”

The full document can be downloaded here:

Global fossil-fuel supply scenarios and their impact on Kenyan households, RJL

The dissertation recieved 71/100.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.