Do you believe peak oil will happen in your life-time?
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- Bad Moon RisingLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
I certainly think that we will reach not only "Peak Oil" but in fact Peak Fossil Fuel Energy. Indeed it is an economic term but it is also a function of the ability of global economies to continue growth. It is the point at which supply, as constrained by commodity price breaking point, is no longer capable of meeting demand. Despite the assertions of vast amounts of oil, the remaining oil is prohibitively expensive to exploit in many instances. Could the world tolerate $1000 per barrel oil? Probably not. Look at what $145 oil helped do to the global economy in 2008.
The person who I trust most on this, published a paper in 1997 "J.D. Edwards Crude oil and Alternate Energy Production Forecasts for the 21st Century. AAPG Bull. Aug 1997 pp 1292-1305. He was as knowledgeable a person on global oil supply and energy reserve appreciation as I have known. He worked all of the major oil and gas producing basins of the world and headed Shell's Bellaire Research Centre in Houston.
Here is a Summary: Peak Conventional Oil - Year 2025
Peak All OIl (incl. oil sand & oil shale) -Year 2035
Peak Natural Gas (probably too soon ?) - 2035
Peak Coal - (probably too late ?) - 2040
Peak Oil Consumption - Conventional = 38 Billion Barrels per Year
- All Oil = 45 Billion Barrels per Year
- Peak Natural Gas = 18 Billion Barrels Equiv.
= 108 TCF per Year
- Peak Coal = 17 Billion Barrels Equiv. per Year
= 4.9 Billion Tons per Year
Most people confuse "Resource" with the word "Reserve". There is a large amount of Resource and potential Resource, but only that portion which is economically viable becomes Reserves. Other issues as well such as lack of Fresh water, will also severely curtail the ability to convert resources into reserves (long sad story). In my life as a Geologist I have seen a "good" natural gas discovery change from 100 BCF (1974) to 50 BCF (1978) to 20 BCF (1980) to 10 BCF (1989) to 2 BCF in 1995 to 0.5 BCF in 2009. The only reason that more gas is found today is increasing price coupled with Technology. Technology is brutally expensive and therefore tends to increase the finding costs as it exploits poorer and poorer "reserves". Much of the hype about current technology unlocking Trillions of feet of gas is basically unproven at the forecasted prices (relative to reserve). They are most likely out by a minimum factor of 50% too optimistic to probably 100% too optimistic. This moves finding/development cost upward from abut $6 per MCF to about $9.00 or $12.00 per MCF. This is still a bargain compared to oil since it is $54-$72 per Barrel of Oil Equiv. compared to $80 for oil currently.
This is a complex but important issue and I care not politically one way or another. I can say, however, that I totally disagree with Mark concerning Biofuels. Whatever the outcome of fossil fuels, it will be quite some time when Biofuels will be able to replace Fossil fuels at any competitive price since a substantial amount of Ethanol is actually the result of increased importation of fuels with which to create the Biofuels. Like a dog chasing its tail, there are significant questions of the conversion rate of crude oil into biofuel and the efficiency of the process (ie. net yield). Nature was the worlds first Biofuel Plant. It is called coal, oil and gas. The incredible volumes of stored (solar) energy in biofuels is just a very small drop in the bucket compared to the vast quantities of organic material over incredible amounts of time that yield fossil fuels.Source(s): Petroleum Geologist - 35 years on the job domestically and internationally.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
"Peak oil" is a term that is often misunderstood and thrown around by people with a political agenda. It does sound scary. It does sound like we're entering into an immediate, terrible oil crisis. However, "peak oil" is an economic term. There's still millions of barrels of oil to be had, but the *economics* have peaked, meaning that it is now more expensive to retrieve oil than to sell it. So if any new, more efficient technology comes along, or even if someone is willing to simply accept a lower profit-margin, oil will resume pumping just as it has for the last decades.
Peak oil has already been reached in areas of the world, so yes, not only do I believe that it will happen - but it has already happened in my lifetime. Additionally, new oil fields are right now continually being discovered in areas never explored, or at depths never before possible.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get off of oil - and it's not a far-fetched idea. The economically profitable, commercial-grade production of ethanol and biodiesel from common field corn - of which we have plenty - and sugar beets - of which again, we have plenty - has been clearly demonstrated. Ethanol is a viable step toward completely electric automobiles. Sustainable, "clean" energy would be fantastic, I'm all for it. No reason to still be burning oil and coal in 2009, more than 150 years since we started doing it on a large-scale.
But I'm going on too long. Yes, peak oil. Yes, economics, not loss of oil. Yes, clean, sustainable energy.Source(s): Experienced geologist.
- wokwiczLv 44 years ago
Oil is obviously a finite source yet each and each time a prediction is made approximately its height and decline greater is got here upon. it is finding out to purchase us time to strengthen new technologies. people might experience aggravated with the help of people who consistently assume disaster yet devoid of those people we could be slower to coach for the day as quickly as we will choose an option to the indoors combustion engine. all of it balances out. we will not see an end to our way of existence by using fact we are making the transition already and with the help of the time the oil runs out we would be merrily applying another variety of potential. truly, Pollyanna
- evertalallLv 41 decade ago
Yes! Sure very soon
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- David DLv 71 decade ago
Not in my lifetime but probably within the next 40 years...
See these videos:
- Anonymous1 decade ago
No I don't