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View Diary: Meanwhile, in the OIL fields (11 comments)

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  •  Bottom of the barrel for oilaholics (none)
    We've got an oil jones and we're looking at a collossal case of denial.

    The basic facts:

    World reserves:        1027 B bbl
    World consumption:   27.74 B bbl/yr
    Demand increase:     2.25%/yr

    Exhaustion:             2027
    Reserves at half:     2015

    If the current consumption pattern is kept up, then, the world oil supply will last at most 22 years.

    But long before that, the crucial point will be when oil becomes too expensive to sustain our oil-based lifestyle. How long will suburbia last when gas is $15 and $20 per gallon?

    More to the point, our agriculture and food distribution is incredibly energy-intensive, about 10 calories of oil per calorie of food consumed. And forget about plastics and all the rest of our wonderful petrochemicals.

    In a year or two, petroleum will no longer be a net source of energy: it will take more than a barrel's worth of energy to extract a barrel.

    In the '70s, it only took a one-year shortfall of 5% to cause a recession. World oil production is leveling off, and only needs to drop about 3%, adding to the 2.25% demand increase, before there is a minimum 5% shortfall every year. We're talking chronic bad economy here, just for starters.

    This is issue #1 for humanity. People need to learn as much as they can and start some serious thinking.

    The text book:
    The Cliff's Notes: Running on Empty
    The Dummies book: Beginner's Guide to Oil Depletion
    The exposé: Life After the Oil Crash

    •  Overall ... (none)
      ...I agree with you. But it's always risky to make exact predictions of how much oil is there and when exactly we'll reach the peak - although I am a pessimist on that matter and believe the peak will come before 2010.

      Reserves are amounts we're sure of, and most experts believe we have probably twice as much conventional oil as we have reserves. So, instead of 1 billion barrels, we probably have 2 billion, possibly a little more. Some optimists claim we have 3 billion.

      Even if we have 5 billion barrels, however, as I pointed out in this essay at daily Kos last October, we will run out, and before we do, the cost of a barrel of oil and all the derivatives of oil will skyrocket.

      Hooray for girlie men.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 02:41:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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