· Rising demand and diminishing reserves of oil and gas are not news within the petroleum industry; not to most specialists, but politicians, the media and the general public have only recently been hearing about it. The long-term prospects for an energy crisis that will dwarf the one of the early 1970s are very real. In the U.S. today we are producing less oil than we were producing in the 1950’s. Oklahoma is producing less oil today than in the 1920's. In spite of the tremendous technological leaps the oil industry has made to keep old oil fields alive and to drill in ever-deeper waters in the oceans, most of the domestic annual production continues to decline with the exception of two states. Both of these states, Texas and North Dakota are currently seeing a boom in production as tight rock reservoirs (referred to in the media as "Shale Oil") are being found. It is still to be seen how many years this level of production can be maintained. See Histogram
In 2001, Professor Kenneth S. Deffeyes of Princeton University
published “Hubbert’s Peak, The Impending World Oil Shortage”
through Princeton University Press. This is a definitive work for the layperson and professional
The Oil & Gas Journal in their August 26, 2002 issue
quoted a report from analysts at Douglas-Westwood, Ltd., an energy
industry-consulting firm based in Canterbury, England, saying, “Oil
will permanently cease to be abundant.
Supply and demand will be forced to balance – but at a
· One theme mentioned by Deffeyes and the group at Douglas-Westwood is our need to develop alternative energy sources. To date none have proven viable for our transportation needs. For instance, we do not yet have an electric automobile that can travel 300 miles non-stop while operating the air conditioning (heating OR cooling). Then, once the batteries are drained, it takes a long time to recharge them for the next leg of the journey. With that knowledge, consider an airplane. The same type shortcomings can be shown for solar and wind generated energy.
· Petroleum and petroleum by-products are a vital part of our transportation system and our daily lives.Click to see a few products made from hydrocarbons. Our modern lives cannot be lived without using products that have been manufactured with fossil fuels and/or were created with energy provided by fossil fuels (even a toothbrush).
· Petroleum is a vital part of our modern economy and its scarcity is upon us. Solutions to this dilemma are being hotly debated. We in the energy business are looking for solutions based on science and practicality. It is troublesome to witness the advancement and acceptance of politically motivated solutions such as ethanol in fuel.
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