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View Full Version : When The Oil Runs Out.....What Then?


RobBo
26-04-04, 00:31
Just as certain as death and taxes is the knowledge that we shall one day be forced to learn to live without oil.
Exactly when that day will dawn nobody knows, but people in middle age today can probably expect to be here for it.

Long before it arrives we shall have had to commit ourselves to one or more of several possible energy futures.

And the momentous decisions we take in the next few years will determine whether our heirs thank or curse us for the energy choices we bequeath to them.

There will always be some oil somewhere, but it may soon cost too much to extract and burn it. It may be too technically difficult, too expensive compared with other fuels, or too polluting.

So how long will it last?

At-a-glance

An article in Scientific American in March 1998 by Dr Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrere concluded: "The world is not running out of oil - at least not yet.

"What our society does face, and soon, is the end of the abundant and cheap oil on which all industrial nations depend."

They suggested there were perhaps 1,000 billion barrels of conventional oil still to be produced, though the US Geological Survey's World Petroleum Assessment 2000 put the figure at about 3,000 billion barrels.

Too good to burn

The world is now producing about 75 million barrels per day (bpd). Conservative (for which read pessimistic) analysts say global oil production from all possible sources, including shale, bitumen and deep-water wells, will peak at around 2015 at about 90 million bpd, allowing a fairly modest increase in consumption.

Peaking is at hand, not years away... If I'm right, the unforeseen consequences are devastating

Matthew Simmons, former US government adviser
On Campbell and Laherrere's downbeat estimate, that should last about 30 years at 90 million bpd, so drastic change could be necessary soon after 2030.

And it would be drastic: 90% of the world's transport depends on oil, for a start.

Most of the chemical and plastic trappings of life which we scarcely notice - furniture, pharmaceuticals, communications - need oil as a feedstock.

The real pessimists want us to stop using oil for transport immediately and keep it for irreplaceable purposes like these.

In May 2003 the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (Aspo), founded by Colin Campbell, held a workshop on oil depletion in Paris. One of the speakers was an investment banker, Matthew Simmons, a former adviser to President Bush's administration.

From The Wilderness Publications reported him as saying: "Any serious analysis now shows solid evidence that the non-FSU [former Soviet Union], non-Opec [Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries] oil has certainly petered out and has probably peaked...

"I think basically that peaking of oil will never be accurately predicted until after the fact. But the event will occur, and my analysis is... that peaking is at hand, not years away.

"If I'm right, the unforeseen consequences are devastating... If the world's oil supply does peak, the world's issues start to look very different.

"There really aren't any good energy solutions for bridges, to buy some time, from oil and gas to the alternatives. The only alternative right now is to shrink our economies."

Aspo suggests the key date is not when the oil runs out, but when production peaks, meaning supplies decline. It believes the peak may come by about 2010.

Fundamental change may be closing on us fast. And even if the oil is there, we may do better to leave it untouched.

So there is every reason to plan for the post-oil age. Does it have to be devastating? Different, yes - but our forebears lived without oil and thought themselves none the worse.

We shall have to do the same, so we might as well make the best of it. And the best might even be an improvement on today.

Duffman
26-04-04, 23:42
great Thread Rob...

its gonna be a really big issue the longer we wait to think about it. The good news is that we are evolving as a civilisation and finding more usable sources of energy. The hybrid car is being produced and now sold and that is a step in the right direction. As with the use of fuels and reusable materials that recycle energy.

I can understand your concern. With the day fast approaching authorities, governments and scientific minds need to come together and make some decisions.

Could we live in a world without oil? - gee, thats a tough question now we have been spoilt by it - but people lived before without it, so i guess it would work - its just the thing of evolution and moving forward - not back that concerns me.

Then there is something else - scientists have predicted the sun is to explode in about a billion years.. what then?... well, maybe best to take one issue at a time hey... hehe... http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

RobBo
26-04-04, 23:53
Originally posted by Duffman:
The hybrid car is being produced and now sold and that is a step in the right direction.Yes, we have seen much electric/alternative fuel cars but what about lorries? Tractors? Combine-harvesters?

It is not so much the transport issue that will be affected, it is the very infrastucture of agriculture (our food production) that, in a very short space of time, will need to be radically restructured!

Not too mention the impact on other industrial sectors.... :confused:

Duffman
27-04-04, 00:08
ok, ok... calm down rob...

im not sayin the issue is going to be resolved with electric cars - im just saying when the issue is so large like this one - you cant go from 0 to 30 like that... small steps are required to get to your destination...

solar power will assist in the area of agricultural farming and such - its already been seen in parts of america - i saw it on discovery channel...

there are deifnately plenty of factors i agree robbo...

Draco
27-04-04, 11:13
Diesel engines will be converted to corn oil, gasoline engines will be built to run on natural gas, propane, or anything else you can stick in the tank...

Capt. Murphy
27-04-04, 15:08
If you ask me, all these corporations are holding back with their resources so that we will continue to buy whatever they lay before us, no matter how expensive or unreasonable the price is. As long as we continue to do it - they will be satisfied. They are also holding back on alternative sources of energy. If we were really that bad off (presently) all these rich powerful companies would literally be digging to find new (or even obvious) sources of fuel, energy, etc. Sure, we're not that bad off yet.... It's all a matter of time anyway.

☻☻˘

Draco
29-04-04, 03:03
Originally posted by Capt. Murphy:
If you ask me, all these corporations are holding back with their resources so that we will continue to buy whatever they lay before us, no matter how expensive or unreasonable the price is. As long as we continue to do it - they will be satisfied. They are also holding back on alternative sources of energy. If we were really that bad off (presently) all these rich powerful companies would literally be digging to find new (or even obvious) sources of fuel, energy, etc. Sure, we're not that bad off yet.... It's all a matter of time anyway.

☻☻˘You are exactly right.

neil4768
29-04-04, 08:55
Originally posted by Draco:
Diesel engines will be converted to corn oil, gasoline engines will be built to run on natural gas, propane, or anything else you can stick in the tank...There is no need to modify the car engine, you just need to modify the fuel, i have a diesel and I run it on 100%bio diiesle. check these links for details

http://www.bio-power.co.uk/

and the links on this page give you loads of info

http://www.bio-power.co.uk/links.htm