A new analysis concludes that easily extracted oil peaked in 2005, suggesting that dirtier fossil fuels will be burned and energy prices will rise.
Jan. 25, 2012: Despite major oil finds off Brazil's coast and new fields in North Dakota fresh supplies of petroleum are only just enough to offset the production decline from older fields.
Not good news for the climate, either. Harder to extract oil means increased burning of dirtier oil and coal. Even with large supplies of coal and natural gas, the world faces a potential energy shortfall, one reason that the U.S. Department of Energy suggested in a 2005 report is because a "crash program" to cope with any decline in oil supplies should have started 20 years ago.
As of Jun 2011:
"We are fundamentally a fossil fuel civilization. Everything around us we have fossil fuels to thank for." Our food production is completely dependent on oil. We eat oil. Today, the food that we consume would never arrive on our table without oil.
More than 40% of the total production of oil and gas is used to feed the world population. too many people have too little energy to share.
Cheap plastic photovoltaics require polymers made from oil. The fertilizer that feeds a global population of seven billion requires the conversion of natural gas to more than 140 million tons of ammonia per year. Even advanced nuclear reactors would need large, oil-burning machines to mine the uranium or thorium fuel.
"We should focus our resources and attention on what has the best chance to succeed," "That’s not biofuels, that’s not wind. It is PV," or photovoltaic modules for converting light energy to electricity.
And what has an even better chance of success—and immediate impact—is reforming the current energy system, whether through better building codes that require more insulation and triple-pane windows or making the most efficient use of fossil fuels. After all, if all of Canada switched to more than 90 percent efficient natural gas furnaces, the country would produce 40 percent less CO2. "There is no renewable energy that will get you 40 percent less carbon on a scale like that," "Changing furnaces is an energy transition."
"Energy (now) is dirt cheap. Oil is cheaper than any mineral you can buy," "The percent of disposable income devoted to energy is about 10 percent."
The world’s coal reserves we find that 80% exists in only 6 nations; the USA, Russia, China, India, Australia and South Africa. The greatest proportion of the coal that is consumed globally is in these six nations.
The largest reserves of coal are in the state of Montana and in Siberia in Russia. The best climate outcome that we could hope for from Copenhagen would be that Russia and the USA agree on a bilateral treaty whereby they decline to use half of their coal reserves.
During the last period of growth 2003 to 2007 we had strong growth., oil consumption rose by 10% from 77 to 85 Mb/d. When the IEA discusses our future oil needs they see the coupling between economic growth and increased oil consumption as decisive. At the moment oil production is around 84 Mb/d. If the next economic upswing requires an additional increase in oil production of 10% then we would need between 92 and 93 Mb/d.
Our calculations show that such an increase is not possible.
A study we have made of the largest oilfields shows that just before half the oil is extracted from a field its flow begins to decline dramatically by, on average, 8% per year. What is unfortunate for our future oil production is that a large part currently comes from giant old oilfields. Today, the crude oil production is 72 Mb/d but in 20 years these fields will produce between 20 to 30 Mb/d.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that, during the coming 20 years, approximately 115 billion barrels will be located, an estimate that we agree with. During the same 20 year period they also forecast that the world will consume over 600 billion barrels of oil.
Dick McManus for Congress, 2nd CD-WA, 2012
Democrat, Everett, WA
A seriously progressive/liberal candidate in every race
Where I stand on all the issues