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Page added on August 24, 2015

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When The Crude Oil Runs Out

Consumption

Mankind is using crude oil faster than Mother Nature can replenish it. What are the implications of that fact? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Crude-oil optimists and crude-oil pessimists disagree on when the peak of the world’s oil production will take place, but they agree on one thing: The world’s supply of crude oil is finite. It isn’t a matter of if the world will run out of crude oil but a matter of when.

Crude-oil optimists have reasons for their optimism.

On its website, the U.S. Energy Information Administration states, “According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook 2014, the global supply of crude oil, other liquid hydrocarbons, and biofuels is expected to be adequate to meet the world’s demand for liquid fuels for at least the next 25 years. There is substantial uncertainty about the levels of future liquid fuels supply and demand.”

An article on the Michigan State University Extension website states, “Despite current widespread conflict in the traditional oil producing areas of the Middle East, crude oil supplies are increasing and prices are declining.”

A BP.com report states, “Total world proved oil reserves reached 1700.1 billion barrels at the end of 2014 sufficient to meet 52.5 years of global production.”

The current oil boom in the USA has plenty of Americans wanting the U.S. to export crude oil. In its Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 34, the Council on Foreign Relations states, “Federal lawmakers should overturn the ban on exporting crude oil produced in the United States.”

In a statement released 05/13/15, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources states, “U.S. Sens Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., along with 11 of their Senate colleagues today introduced the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015 (S.1312). This bipartisan legislation would modernize federal energy policy by ending the outdated ban on crude oil exports.”

Meanwhile, crude-oil pessimists have reasons for their pessimism, too.

In an online article updated 06/16/15, PetroStrategies, Inc. gives the following statistics:

At the end of 2013 there were 1,687.9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. In 2013, the world produced 31.685 billion barrels of oil (86,808 thousand barrels per day). That means that we had 53.3 years of oil left at the current rate of production.

The reserve lifetime for natural gas is 55.1 years.

This means that if we keep on using oil and gas at the rate we did in 2013 we will run out of oil in 2056 and natural gas in 2068.

The article explains the variables that can cause the the above-stated predictions to be inaccurate. The article goes on to say, “Using these estimates of undiscovered oil and gas, we can expect to run out of oil in 2057 and natural gas in 2064. These calculations are subject to a great deal of uncertainty, however, they do highlight the fact that oil and gas are depletable resources and that we only have a certain amount left.”

On its website, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers states, “There are an estimated 1.3 trillion barrels of proven oil reserve left in the world’s major fields, which at present rates of consumption will be sufficient to last 40 years. By 2040, production levels may be down to 15 million barrels per day – around 20% of what we currently consume. It is likely by then that the world’s population will be twice as large, and more of it industrialised (and therefore oil dependent).”

Predictions about the depletion of the world’s crude oil supply have been problematic, as noted in a 2008 article in the journal Energy Policy, which says the following:

This paper has shown that the reserves of oil and gas did not decline over the last few decades, and predictions that oil and gas are diminishing were not reliable. Also the prediction about coal reserves over the last two decades was not accurate. The fossil fuel time depletion is calculated to be around 35, 107 and 37 years for oil, coal and gas, respectively, by the proposed method. In contrast, the ratios of world consumption to reserves for oil, coal and gas show if the world continues to consume fossil fuels at 2006 rates, the reserves of oil, coal and gas will last a further 40, 200 and 70 years, respectively. These figures prove that oil will be depleted earlier than the other types of fossil fuel, and coal will remain longer than oil and gas.

It is easy to be a crude-oil optimist when one expects to be long dead before crude oil becomes scarce. What one need to ask one’s self is this: Does one have an obligation to prepare now for what will be inevitable for future generations? The convenient thing would be to say, “It’s not my problem, and so I’ll just kick this can down the road.”

If it would be improper to have such apathy for future generations, then what should Mankind do now for the eventual depletion of crude oil? Has Mankind already taken all of the appropriate steps, or is there more that should be done?

wiz bang blog

 



18 Comments on "When The Crude Oil Runs Out"

  1. Jerry McManus on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 1:06 pm 

    Wow, what a waste of everyone’s time.

    I have personally been witness to over 10 years of intense debate and god-only-knows how many millions of words of well-reasoned analysis on the question of peak oil and its implications.

    Keeping in mind, of course, that oil depletion is just one small aspect of the much larger dynamic of resource depletion in general, which itself is just one aspect of the complex and ever evolving dynamic of global ecological overshoot.

    And after all of that, this is the best these jokers can do? A few limp paragraphs whimpering about R/P ratios?!? Brilliant!

  2. Nony on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 1:22 pm 

    If/when we start running out, price will go up and we will make do with less. Either a substitute will be found, such as fast breeder nuclear proposed by Hubbert…or we won’t. If we don’t, prices will go up on a Hotelling curve. Standards of living may decline. Life will go on. Peak oilers will die. Children will grow old. The sun will rise and set.

  3. GregT on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 1:51 pm 

    “If/when we start running out, price will go up….”

    And when prices go up it will cause economic crises, which will in turn cause a pullback in consumption, which will cause prices to drop. The central banks will have no choice other than monetary stimulus and to lower interest rates, which will satisfy the simple masses that all is OK. Which it is not.

    Peak oil is already in the rearview mirror. The crises will continue until enough confidence in the system has been eroded and people start to wake up. Then, it is “Katy bar the door”.

  4. rockman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 2:43 pm 

    As Nony says there will always be enough oil production enough to meet demand. Demand, of course, being what the consumers can afford to buy…not what they would like to buy. And it doesn’t matter what the price of oil might be: $120 or $20 per bbl. Even at $20/bbl there will still be hundreds of millions that can’t afford to buy oil or its refined products. Thus those folks won’t add to the demand.

  5. apneaman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 2:47 pm 

    Greg, sounds like circling the drain.

    Plunge in oil stocks erases $17 billion as Exxon hits 5-year low

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/plunge-in-oil-stocks-erases-dollar17-billion-as-exxon-hits-5-year-low/ar-BBm33zI?li=AA4Zjn

  6. apneaman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 2:49 pm 

    NEW
    Canadian oil stocks hit hard on markets
    Stocks hit lows not seen in more than a decade

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-oil-stocks-hit-hard-on-markets-1.3201890

  7. apneaman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 2:56 pm 

    Prepping the sheep to accept another massive bailout or else.

    Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser

    “A former adviser to Gordon Brown has urged people to stock up on canned goods and bottled water as stock markets around the world slide.

    Damian McBride appeared to suggest that the stock market dip could lead to civil disorder or other situations where it would be unreasonable for someone to leave the house.

    “Advice on the looming crash, No.1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don’t assume banks & cashpoints will be open, or bank cards will work,” he tweeted.

    “Crash advice No.2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.

    “Crash advice No.3: agree a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communication gets cut off; somewhere you can all head to.”

    “Mr McBride credited his former boss Gordon Brown with preventing a cataclysm by nationalising the banking system during the 2008 crash.

    “We were close enough in 2008 (if the bank bailout hadn’t worked),” he said. “and what’s coming is on 20 times that scale”.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/stock-up-on-canned-food-for-stock-market-crash-warns-former-gordon-brown-advisor-10469509.html

  8. Nony on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 5:49 pm 

    Y2K silliness.

  9. rockman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 5:58 pm 

    Nony – Once again how odd that we see maters similarly. LOL. Perhaps folks have been too many Hollywood versions of disasters. I do see the potential for rather widespread hardships for many including those who have never felt that terrible sting. There might be isolated bits of violence effectiing thousands. But there be many tens of millions of Americans that will suffer a slow and lasting (for years) degradation of their lifestyles.

  10. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 6:25 pm 

    Maybe Y2K would never have been a big deal, but we will never know since the precautionary printable was applied and quite extensively too.

    $411 billion today

    “Cost

    The total cost of the work done in preparation for Y2K is estimated at over US$300 billion ($411 billion today, once inflation is taken into account [42]).[43] IDC calculated that the U.S. spent an estimated $134 billion ($184 billion) preparing for Y2K, and another $13 billion ($18 billion) fixing problems in 2000 and 2001. Worldwide, $308 billion ($422 billion) was estimated to have been spent on Y2K remediation.[44] There are two ways to view the events of 2000 from the perspective of its aftermath:”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem#Opposing_view

  11. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 6:38 pm 

    rockman you might be right if it was just economic/resource overshoot we were dealing with, but it’s not and I’m guessing you know it. Unless you are suffering from a massive case of geographical/political group think. Our environmental problems far outweigh our resource/economic problems. You always remind folks of the lag time in the system, well the earth system has it too and inertia as well – unstoppable inertia that is beyond most apes comprehension.

  12. Apneaman on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 6:47 pm 

    Here is another thing for folks to pretend can NEVER happen

    Five Reasons The U.S. Power Grid Is Overdue For A Cyber Catastrophe

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2015/08/19/five-reasons-the-u-s-power-grid-is-overdue-for-a-cyber-catastrophe/

    Because the grid is just so robust

    Aging US Power Grid Blacks Out More Than Any Other Developed Nation

    http://www.ibtimes.com/aging-us-power-grid-blacks-out-more-any-other-developed-nation-1631086

    Remember kids that if something really catastrophic has not happened in your life – that means it never will, well at least not to you.

    Even though it has happened countless time throughout history you’ll always be safe because………………….. just because.

  13. Dubya on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 7:40 pm 

    I walked by a remote BC substation and noticed the “transformer number 2 (spare)”.

    I hope this is common, but I have never actually seen it before.

    I suppose the next question is when we lose a pile if transformers in a Carrington II how long will it take to replenish the spares!?

    Too bad the USA is standing there with pants around the ankles.

    http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/92943/former-cia-director-were-not-doing-nearly-enough-protect-against-emp-threat

  14. Makati1 on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 8:31 pm 

    Dubya, it will take years to get spares. Supposedly, the backup in orders today is about three years. China is buying them up like candy and ‘stockpiling'(?) them. Another good use of their foreign reserves.

  15. Makati1 on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 8:35 pm 

    Much of the US power grid is older than me and in much worse shape. That a catastrophic failure is not in the near future is impossible. No or little maintenance and an ever increasing load. Like the straw and the camel, eventually someone is going to plug in an electric car (or Ipad) and break its back. OR, there will be a solar flare or some other event that takes it all down instantly. Are YOU prepared?

  16. Davy on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 8:45 pm 

    The U.S. Grid is a continent size grid who’s condition varies widely. I don’t see it much worse than anywhere else Mak. I would be worried in the Phillippines because it won’t be long and all those typhoons will do their damage without the ability to rebuild. You are going to be beaten into the Stone Age Mak by successive storms and lack of an economy to rebuild. Again I take my central Missouri local any day over your 12Mil Manila.

  17. Kenz300 on Tue, 25th Aug 2015 10:44 am 

    Wind and solar are the future……. Fossil fuels are the past……….

    India Set To Auction 750 Megawatts of Solar Projects – Renewable Energy World

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/08/india-set-to-auction-750-megawatts-of-solar-projects.html

    —————————–
    100 Percent Renewable Energy Charged EV Stations Allow Driving on Sunshine – Renewable Energy World

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/08/100-percent-renewable-energy-charged-ev-stations-allow-driving-on-sunshine.html

  18. Dredd on Tue, 25th Aug 2015 3:01 pm 

    It will not run out, it will be run out of town.

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