NOTE: A SIGNIFICANT UPDATE ( MARCH 2001) IS APPENDED
The oil crash and you:
Oil shortages soon – evidence of final emptying of wells
This document reveals that within ten years:
Oil extraction from wells will be physically unable to meet global demand (the evidence is from the oil industry itself)
Alternative energy sources like nuclear and natural gas will fall far short of compensating for expected shortages of oil. There is simply not enough time to convert over to them.
Massive disruptions to transportation and the economy are expected around 2010 when the final peak of production of all petroleum liquids (globally) is followed by decline.
Most significant effects:
Gradual, permanent cut-off of fuel for transport and for industrial machinery. Global trade will greatly decline.
Agriculture (food production) depends heavily on fertilizers and chemicals made from oil.
Shortages of 500,000 other goods made from oil.
Therefore, reduction of virtually all business and government activity.
Difficulty of adapting:
A major part of the problem is that existing equipment is designed only for oil fuels. For example, the world’s 11,000 airliners cannot run on natural gas, nuclear or coal.
By-products of oil:
Cost and decreasing availability of 500,000 known uses of oil: Fertilizers (farms/food supply), medicines, plastics, insulation, computers, asphalt, inks & toners, paints, glues, solvents, antiseptics, golf balls, CDs, trash bags, nail polish, detergents, chewing gum, etc.
Not only will the oil supply dwindle, but the shortages and climbing prices will obstruct industry as it attempts to convert society to other forms of energy.
Proof of impending shortages:
Much uninformed literature says oil is plentiful and that better extraction will maintain adequate supply for decades. However, this sheet reveals:
A clear, forty-year trend of less and less discovery of oil, and dwindling outputs from the steadily emptying wells.
Misleading reporting of oil inventories, presented by oil-extracting countries (evidence provided below)
Why alternative energy sources will not prevent shortages:
Alternative fuels have been studied. As replacements for oil they are grossly inadequate both in quantity and versatility of use.
There is insufficient time to prevent heavy impacts.
When, and how bad:
Year when global oil supply first fails to meet global demand: about 2009
Rate of decline of global oil supply:
3% every year from 2009 onward.
Duration of decline:
Forever. Oil takes millions of years to form, in very special geological conditions.
Barrels consumed globally per year:
More than 22 billion in 1999. (About 2 billion barrels per month)
Barrels discovered globally per year:
About 6 billion. Discovery of oil fluctuates each year, but peaked in the 1960s, and has declined at an average of about 9 billion barrels per year over the past 40 years. We’ve mostly just been using up huge old oil fields.
Pre-1973-discovered oil in use today:
More than 70% of present global supply.
Ratio of oil consumed to oil discovered each year:
Four consumed for every one discovered.
Discovered Extracted Consumed
USA during the 15years
from 1977-1991 5 billion barrels 45 billion
(40 billion barrels more than discovered)
92 billion (47 billion were imported)
World during the 10years
from 1982-1991 91billion barrels 221 billion
(130 billion barrels more than discovered
(equal to all extracted)
Those figures, & the following graph of discoveries are at: http://users.knsi.com/~tbender/ivanhoe.html
Proportion of global energy provided by oil in developed countries:
Inadequacy of expected solutions
The “invest more to find it” idea:
Yet-to-be located oil, globally:
After a century of exploration, the earth’s geology and oil resources are generally well known. When the fields are emptying, money only helps to scrape out the hard-to-reach remainder. There are 210 billion barrels left to discover and 1000 billion barrels left to extract. This is indicated by the 40-year decline in discovery of oil. No amount of money will create oil that simply isn’t there.
Number of oil wells already in world/USA:
More than 500,000. In USA, 80% of the wells now produce less than three barrels a day.
Percentage of oil recovered from a typical oil well:
20% to 60%. It relates primarily to the density of the oil. You get less from a heavy oil than a light one because it sticks in the reservoir.
“Technology will solve it” idea
Challenge to technology:
To compensate for the expected 3% oil decline (at today’s 22 billion barrels a year), create and install, by year 2009, permanent supplies of portable energy, equivalent to 660 million barrels of oil a year. Then as oil keeps declining forever, increase this new energy it until it replaces 40% of the world’s energy supply (22 billion barrels a year) OR reduce energy demand equivalently as the global population increases by almost a quarter million people every day.
The “better efficiency” idea
Increases in efficiency usually fail to reduce consumption (more m.p.g. just causes people to travel more or buy two cars, or other goods) unless they are personally determined to reduce their consumption.
What about nuclear power?
Nuclear is currently being abandoned globally.
(International Energy Agency 1999). Its ability to soften the oil crash is very problematic:
Past accidents. Risk of more, and terrorism.
Many more reactors would be needed.
Tons of radioactive materials to transport at risk to public.
Nuclear waste disposal is still the major, unresolved problem, especially breeder reactors producing plutonium a nuclear weapon/terrorist raw material, half-life contamination is 24,000 years.
All abandoned reactors are radioactive for decades or millennia.
Nuclear is not directly suitable for aircraft and vehicles.
Adapting nuclear to make hydrogen or other fuels would be a huge, and energy-expensive project.
Nuclear fusion is still not available, after 40 years’ research and billions of dollars invested.
Proportion of global energy provided by gas:
20% of global energy supply (1997).
As a replacement for oil:
Gas itself will start running out from 2020 on. Demand for natural gas in North America is already outstripping supply, especially as power utilities take the remaining gas to generate electricity.
Gas is not suited for existing jet aircraft, …