In 1920, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that “the world’s supply of recoverable petroleum” was no more than 60 billion barrels. It was wrong. The world has already produced 1,400 billion barrels of oil. Worldwide, there is about 1,700 billion barrels of oil in reserve – nearly a 60-year supply at current production rates. And the size of the ultimate resource is likely to be greater than 10 trillion barrels.
Peak oil predictions and other Malthusian prognostications of resource limits have failed repeatedly for decades….
Oil and other fossil fuels will continue to be our primary energy sources through the end of this century because they offer four great advantages. Compared to renewables, fossil fuels are inexpensive, reliable, abundant, and concentrated. The age of oil is far from being eclipsed. We have barely begun to exploit unconventional oil resources. The western U.S. alone contains at least 2 trillion barrels of petroleum in oil shale formations. At a current U.S. annual consumption rate of 7.2 billion barrels, that’s a 278-year supply.
___ Peak Oil Keeps Everyone Waiting at the Altar
Conventional orthodoxy tells us that we are running out of hydrocarbons — but even if we were not running out of hydrocarbons, it tells us, we would still need to stop using them in order to save the planet. But what if the opposite were true? What if we can only save the planet — and modern civilisation — by continuing to use hydrocarbons in ways that are ever smarter, ever more efficient (at least until advanced nuclear power comes of age)?
Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress explains how modern societies have cleaned up our water, air and streets using the very energy sources you may not have expected–oil, coal and natural gas. __ http://capitalismmagazine.com/2018/04/fossil-fuels-the-greenest-energy/
We know that nuclear reactions are “orders of magnitude” more energy dense than chemical reactions — such as combustion of fossil fuels. In the long run, humans will have to use nuclear energy to provide most of the heat and electric power that advanced human civilisations will use. But unfortunately, the same Luddite organisations that oppose the use of hydrocarbons also are hysterically opposed to the use of all forms of nuclear power.
Humans need to develop safer, more efficient, and more affordable ways of using hydrocarbons, nuclear fission, and eventually nuclear fusion. But political forces of a most obtuse nature are keeping us from moving into a more abundant and expansive energy future.
It is obvious to anyone who looks closely, that leftist organisations of political activism are mainly interested in bringing European and Anglospheric nations to their knees — whether via energy starvation, carbon hysteria, zero-threshold radiation hysteria, death by multicultural immigration overload, or by any means necessary.
It is up to us to be sure not to let these perverse miscreants of the anti-human persuasion be successful in their mission to cut civilisation off at the knees.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
I have to admit that I bought into the peak oil theory. I read Mathew Simmons books from the early 2000’s about the Middle East production issues.
The earth is awash in hydrocarbon energy. The ice shelves have trillions of tons of the stuff if it were only economical to tap.
I was hoping gas prices would stabilize around $2/gallon; that is the price point most Americans can pay without going broke to commute to their jobs if they have one.
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When it comes to oil all the easy stuff has already been consumed. Shale oil and deep-water oil are much more expensive to produce. Estimates of costs for the production of shale oil run between forty and one-hundred-dollars a barrel. I have seen the financial statements of the companies supplying shale oil, and all of them have been losing money since the process began — including periods when oil prices were high. Some analysts are even suggesting there could be a collapse of the US shale-oil industry because of the bad economic fundamentals. These companies have been staying solvent because of low interest rates over the past ten years. They are already in severe debt, and the price of credit is now going higher. There may indeed be plenty of oil to be had, but it will cost a good bit more to supply than what we are accustomed to paying for it.
Given that critics of shale oil have been repeating the same prophecies of doom for almost 10 years now, anyone who wanted their prophecies to be believed would need to present actual data.
The World Bank says breakeven shale prices will stabilise around $40 bbl, although the range for all plays is wide, going as low as $20 bbl.
Breakeven prices for shale are a moving target, having been significantly higher just one year ago — they were much higher the farther back in time you look. The technology is changing, which changes the equations of profitability.
“Some analysts are suggesting” yada yada yada, will not do the trick. Analysts are all over the map, and they have been suggesting everything you can imagine since time began.
Real data works wonders.