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The future of oil

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Baal Melqart View Drop Down
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The future of oil
    Posted: 25-Nov-2011 at 21:39
I think everyone would agree with me if I said that our modern society could not possibly exist the way it does if it were not for crude oil. So I think it would be a good question to ask, when will oil reserves be depleted? I was looking for an answer to that question but there seems to very little data on that. Yet, there seems to be quite a few articles written about a man called Campbell who an Irish Petroleum geologist and who has worked for many oil companies in many different countries.

Campbell claims that the estimates given by the oil companies are false. These estimates were (in 2005) 40 years for oil and 60 for gas. Campbell says that the estimates are usually usually increased and that this is common practice in the oil industry because it incourages investment and market confidence. I mean, obviously we can't expect them to be honest about it because the whole thing of sharing this kind of information is political in nature.

I think there are two major problems that we would face with the depletion of oil reserves regardless of depletion itself. The first is that as oil is depleted, the price will increase to economically unviable prices. Only 7 years ago, oil was priced at $40 a barrel, now it is $96. Our entire economical and social structure subsists on oil. We need it for almost all of our energy needs and major plastic or petroleum derived products. Considering the global economical state, this doesn't predict anything good for our future.

The second problem is really just a question of whether we can make the jump to renewable energy in time to save ourselves before the oil reserves are gone. We have seen in the past years increased investment in renewable energy sources yet nothing global that aims to 'replace' oil dependency. Already, the aftermath of Fukushima scared France and Germany into considering to stop their nuclear energy production due to fear of meltdown. Though, there is also this major project called DESERTEC which has the objective of building solar panels, windmills and hydroelectric energy all throughout the Great Sahara desert and the Middle-east. Obviously, the current political instability in both regions would probably affect this project in some way but I think that we need more of such global projects for renewable energy.

I would like to hear what everyone has to say about this. Are we going to be able to jump on the renewable energy train in time or are we going to be forced back to the industrial age? Does anyone expect major conflicts to intensity as a result of increasing oil needs couple with rising prices? Some relevant links:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/apr/21/oilandpetrol.news

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3777413.stm




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  Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 13:52
Unfortunately, we need oil even for renewable energy, petrochemicals for the manufacturing process, and other resources (such as water and various minerals).

In order to maintain industrialization and continuous economic growth, we will need the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years, which can't happen because oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Fatih Birol states that governments should have prepared for this problem at least a decade ago.

Thus, if we have to use whatever oil is available and other sources of energy, we will have to use them to meet basic needs. Meanwhile, combinations of currency, trade, and resource wars are inevitable. It gets worse when these problems are coupled with the long-term effects of climate change, increasing human population, and increasing resource demand per capita.


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  Quote Arab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 14:14
I heard there are massive oil fields under Antarctica, but Antarctica's natural resources are protected under international law.
 
It's not surprising considering how Antartica was once vibrant with life. I think extracting it would be the biggest problem.
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 14:25
Originally posted by ralfy

Unfortunately, we need oil even for renewable energy, petrochemicals for the manufacturing process, and other resources (such as water and various minerals).

In order to maintain industrialization and continuous economic growth, we will need the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years, which can't happen because oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Fatih Birol states that governments should have prepared for this problem at least a decade ago.

Thus, if we have to use whatever oil is available and other sources of energy, we will have to use them to meet basic needs. Meanwhile, combinations of currency, trade, and resource wars are inevitable. It gets worse when these problems are coupled with the long-term effects of climate change, increasing human population, and increasing resource demand per capita.




Why do we need oil for renewable energy? You mean to supply the initial electricity that would keep it running? Obviously, if we invest heavily on it we can use the electricity generated from windmills, hydro-electric dams, solar panels...etc to power themselves.  As for petrochemical products, we may have to find alternatives in the future, already we have managed to replace some plastic films with ones based on cellulose and motor oil with biodiesel.

The major problem I think is that suffiecient research and development is not being funded and investment in alternative energy is very minimal, nowhere near the level needed to sustain us in the near future.

@Arab

I think the issue is mainly political because considering the way things are going, it may well soon become feasible to extract oil from such a remote area. In what way would the extraction rights be given to any country and who gets what?


Edited by Baal Melqart - 10-Dec-2011 at 14:27
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 14:27
After the oil in Middel-east, we have heavy petroluem in South America, after that we have Canadian oil sands. We don't use them because they needs more process before using. However in future, we can use them.

We use mostly the type of conventional type which is just 30% of all oil reserves

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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 14:30
They were protected only by technology that has not existed till now,Arab.Western countries and others do not fear about theatrical flag planted on the bottom of Arctic.Fear comes cause they found,new technology  have been invented by Russians,this oil could be exploited!Big smile
http://royalholloway.academia.edu/KlausDodds/Papers/170877/Flag_planting_and_nger_pointing_The_Law_of_the_Sea_the_Arctic_and_the_political_geographies_of_the_outer_continental_shelf 


Edited by medenaywe - 10-Dec-2011 at 14:35
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 16:38
If more countries went nuclear there wouldn't be such a strain on fossil fuels. It would also be a good idea to develop biofuels rather than wastefully grow food that will be left in piles to rot
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 20:43
Originally posted by Nick1986

If more countries went nuclear there wouldn't be such a strain on fossil fuels. It would also be a good idea to develop biofuels rather than wastefully grow food that will be left in piles to rot


I totally agree with investing in nuclear energy, absolutely nothing wrong with it. As a matter of fact I am saddened by that fact that countries such as France and Germany are being pressured into closing their nuclear energy facilities as a result of the Fukushima disaster. Now I agree that Fukushima wasn't exactly a good example of nuclear's safety but then again the initial cause was the tsunami, wasn't it? Japan is a country that is at risk of being hit by tsunamies and earthquakes at all time, mainland Europe is a totally different story. Even the risk of meltdown is almost null with the improved technology that we have nowadays. I might be missing something but the way I see it, nuclear is the way to go.

Biofuels is a big controversy. On the one hand they are a great way of reducing carbon footprint and oil needs but they also compete with our food consumption demands. Food demands are rising very sharply in the coming years and apparently meat consumption is also on the rise. Meat is less sustainable, requires a longer growing cycle, consumes a lot of water per animal and requires feed (added cycle). If we're cutting back on cereals/grains for biofuels and doing the same to feed the increasing number s of cattle, soon we won't have enough for ourselfves, or I guess the prices would soar. People need to reduce meat consumption (not saying turn vegetarian) that way it would biofuels more feasible and sustainable.
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2011 at 09:14
Consumer's economic system does not gives us eternal energy solution.Reason:it is against it's "religion".Could You have been supplied with lifetime energy source,If You pay nothing for that?!?!Oil means control of others.Why do they give you that voluntary?Big smileTechnology today gives us also it can make it.This is going in two directions:1.Low consumption consumers and 2.High efficiency converters of energy sources around us.Main problem for both approaches is:accumulation of energy,new battery technologies.
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2011 at 09:23
Originally posted by medenaywe

Consumer's economic system does not gives us eternal energy solution.Reason:it is against it's "religion".Could You have been supplied with lifetime energy source,If You pay nothing for that?!?!Oil means control of others.Why do they give you that voluntary?Big smileTechnology today gives us also it can make it.This is going in two directions:1.Low consumption consumers and 2.High efficiency converters of energy sources around us.Main problem for both approaches is:accumulation of energy,new battery technologies.


I think you hit the spot there. It's not in the 'robber barons's interest to supply us with cheap and renewable energy because they'd be out of business. But eventually when oil starts to run out, the system will cause itself to change through necessity. I forsee a lot f chaos surrounding the transformation but it is bound to happen.

On a similar note, consider the issue of automation. The direction in which technology is headed might well one day replace humans for good when it comes to all sorts of production and manufacturing. We have even developped a machine that can conduct complicated surgeries. If automation is slowly replacing human workers then it seems that many will cease to have the required purchasing power to even keep these businesses alive. Could you imagine bussinesses making themselves obsolete?
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  Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 10:37
Originally posted by Baal Melqart

 

Why do we need oil for renewable energy? You mean to supply the initial electricity that would keep it running? Obviously, if we invest heavily on it we can use the electricity generated from windmills, hydro-electric dams, solar panels...etc to power themselves.  As for petrochemical products, we may have to find alternatives in the future, already we have managed to replace some plastic films with ones based on cellulose and motor oil with biodiesel.


The manufacturing system and mechanized agriculture are heavily based on the use of oil, including petrochemicals. Theoretically, one may have alternatives, but it's going to take a long time to retool the system:

"It Will Take 131 Years To Replace Oil, And We've Only Got 10"


Worse, we need much more energy than can be provided by alternatives. For example, according to the IEA, just to maintain global economic growth, we will need the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years.


The major problem I think is that suffiecient research and development is not being funded and investment in alternative energy is very minimal, nowhere near the level needed to sustain us in the near future.


To call it a "major problem" and the need for "sufficient research" is an understatement. And warnings are being given across the board, from Lloyd's of London to the U.S. and German military forces.


@Arab

I think the issue is mainly political because considering the way things are going, it may well soon become feasible to extract oil from such a remote area. In what way would the extraction rights be given to any country and who gets what?

Far from it. The problem is not extraction rights but EROEI. The truth is that the "easy oil" is gone and oil discoveries peaked in 1964. What we have left is heavy-sour oil, and no amount of political will or funny money will help.

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  Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 10:40
Originally posted by Ollios

After the oil in Middel-east, we have heavy petroluem in South America, after that we have Canadian oil sands. We don't use them because they needs more process before using. However in future, we can use them.

We use mostly the type of conventional type which is just 30% of all oil reserves


Mostly dirty oil, with low EROEIs, and definitely not enough to meet a demand of at least 80 million barrels of light oil needed per day. And that number will have to grow if we need to maintain global economic growth.

And that's technically recoverable reserves. The actual amount that will be extracted will be much lower.


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  Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 10:43
Originally posted by Nick1986

If more countries went nuclear there wouldn't be such a strain on fossil fuels. It would also be a good idea to develop biofuels rather than wastefully grow food that will be left in piles to rot

Not enough nuclear resources, either, even with thorium. For example, to meet at least two-thirds of the energy requirements of the U.S. alone with nuclear power--and this is a country which has less than 5 pct of the world's population--we will need more than the total nuclear reactors there are worldwide.

In general, if we want more people to join the middle class (and that's what we need in order for us, who are already members of the middle class, to pay for our expenses) we will need at least one more earth.

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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 10:47
We have to change our technologies into electrical first,Raify.We have enough energy today and maybe more.Only distribution systems loses are more than 40% and more.Our devices&homes are big energy consumers cause of small energy efficiency number.It takes us at least 20-60 years with "blockades" from
big industries.But there are no other solutions without DNA interventions inside our bodies!LOL
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  Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 10:47
Originally posted by Baal Melqart



I think you hit the spot there. It's not in the 'robber barons's interest to supply us with cheap and renewable energy because they'd be out of business. But eventually when oil starts to run out, the system will cause itself to change through necessity. I forsee a lot f chaos surrounding the transformation but it is bound to happen.

On a similar note, consider the issue of automation. The direction in which technology is headed might well one day replace humans for good when it comes to all sorts of production and manufacturing. We have even developped a machine that can conduct complicated surgeries. If automation is slowly replacing human workers then it seems that many will cease to have the required purchasing power to even keep these businesses alive. Could you imagine bussinesses making themselves obsolete?

They can't because the manufacturing process and mechanized agriculture is geared towards the use of oil. That's why they're focusing on biofuels, first, which is driving up the cost of food:

"Running dry"


Also, there are several concerns for other sources of energy, such as inconsistency in wave/tidal power and the effects of climate change on hydroelectric.

Ultimately, combinations of energy sources will be used, but the total amount of energy obtained will not be enough for "business as usual." At best, the energy will be used to meet basic needs. Passenger cars, audio equipment, game consoles, personal computers, and other luxuries will hardly be available.

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  Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 10:55
Originally posted by medenaywe

We have to change our technologies into electrical first,Raify.We have enough energy today and maybe more.Only distribution systems loses are more than 40% and more.Our devices&homes are big energy consumers cause of small energy efficiency number.It takes us at least 20-60 years with "blockades" from
big industries.But there are no other solutions without DNA interventions inside our bodies!LOL

As shown in your message, the problem isn't just technologies but consumption. The U.S., for example, has less than 5 pct of the world's population but has to consume up to 25 pct of world oil production in order to power up, among others, 250 million out of 670 million passenger vehicles worldwide. If other countries copied what the U.S. is doing, then we will need not only much more energy but resources in general than is available.

Unfortunately, more are doing that, as seen in growing car and appliance sales in Asia, and growing demand for oil, uranium, coal, and other resources.

Ultimately, "big energy consumers" will have to cut down heavily on resource consumption. What is now leading to that is the current credit crunch, will will lead to a long-term recession. Coupled with that will be an energy crunch which will make the current economic crisis a walk in the park.

At best, we can switch to other sources of energy to meet basic needs, and only if we prepare on time. Unfortunately, the IEA states that governments should have prepared at least a decade ago.

Finally, coupled with the need to make the switch is an energy trap:


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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2012 at 11:08
Yes,devices&technologies have to be changed.First laundry machine in our home spent 10x more energy than new with start button and Android operative system.USA have to pay penalties cause of it.I believe soon USA as a leader will make new rules equal for all.We need new Precambrian blast out Raify.We have to
learn from earth's experience till have a time.I am working on new battery now!Wink
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2012 at 05:36
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2012 at 18:36
Originally posted by Nick1986

If more countries went nuclear there wouldn't be such a strain on fossil fuels. It would also be a good idea to develop biofuels rather than wastefully grow food that will be left in piles to rot


If more countries went nuclear it would create a regulatory and disposal nightmare.
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2012 at 18:40
Originally posted by medenaywe

We have to change our technologies into electrical first,Raify.We have enough energy today and maybe more.Only distribution systems loses are more than 40% and more.Our devices&homes are big energy consumers cause of small energy efficiency number.It takes us at least 20-60 years with "blockades" from
big industries.But there are no other solutions without DNA interventions inside our bodies!LOL


To do that, we need to find an alternate way to produce the enormous amount of additional electrical energy that would be required by such a plan.  Currently, our technology is not even remotely equal to such a task.

It's a bit like the electric car scam - of course you can run a car on electricity, but that electricity still has to be produced and distributed the same way it always has been - by using primarily fossil fuels.  So your new "environmental" electric car causes less pollution, but your increased electrical energy needs cause much more than you saved.

Even the Amish use fossil fuels.
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