Friday, August 17, 2012

Oil Shortage: Current oil prices are very high (Peak oil?)

English: New presentation of data in figure 20...
English: New presentation of data in figure 20 of . Meant as replacement for non-free :Image:Hubbert-fig-20.png. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Environmental issues and the Oil Crisis : Impact on your survival?  Oil price per barrel:

Are we running out of oil? An oil crisis maybe? Unlikely but the following is very interesting.

According to geologist M. King Hubbert, the availability of oil and its production peaked around 1970 and is on the decline. Due to the limited resource, the price of gasoline has increased as many believe the source is depleting. According to the text by Withgott, Hubbert then recalculated his findings and then believed that oil would peak in 1995.

This puts us fifteen years after the expected oil peak, which based on the Hubbert peak theory would place us in a decline towards depletion of this resource. 

Contrary to the Hubbert calculations, the Buffalo News predicts that oil will peak in 2012 and then begin to decline. This is why so many people are adamantly working towards finding a renewable source of energy to replace fossil fuels such as crude oil. Since it is reasonably believed that oil is a finite source of energy, it makes sense to believe that the supply of oil will peak and then decline in a terminal fashion. The time it takes for oil to form takes a significant amount of time, which is far too long for the oil supply to remain available in order to sustain current lifestyles. 

  Although many believe that the supply of oil has or will soon peak in its supply and then terminally decline, many still believe that there is plenty of oil to supply many years in the future. Based on a new study by Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize winner and oil historian, the world is approximately 25 years away from its peak, which would then result in a decline that would support the world’s current oil needs for more time than previously anticipated. 

US Lower-48 oil production (crude oil only) an...
US Lower-48 oil production (crude oil only) and Hubbert high estimate (URR= 200Gb, K=6%, 1970), the red dotted line indicates the 1956 year (prediction year). Data from the EIA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With this new information, many are convinced that alternative energy sources will be more widely used before the oil peak is reached. Regardless of when the oil supply peaks and begins its decline, it will happen. For people to wait to react after oil has peaked is foolish. Oil will peak. Oil supplies will decline. 

There is nothing we can do to stop that, so why wait until we find ourselves in a time crunch in finding alternative sources of energy. It is much wiser to plan ahead and begin to shift to alternative renewable energies before it is a critical need. The environmental benefits clearly outweigh the cons. 

See also: current oil price, is there an oil shortage, oil shortage as good search terms.  

 References: Hall, Kevin. “Pulitzer Prize winner suggests world still has plenty of oil.” Buffalo News, New York. 11/15/06, A6. 

  Markov, Marko S. “The coming oil crunch; As world production peaks and then declines, the energy culture must change.” Buffalo News, New York. 10/7/07, H1. 

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