SEARCH BLOG: OIL
Now that oil prices have been cut by more than 50% from recent highs, it is tempting to ignore the energy reality that faces the world. We have bigger problems such as health care and wealth redistribution on which to focus. Maybe not....
A nice summation of global oil is provided at FT.com. Take a look at these snapshots from that site... and then ask yourself what is missing from the pictures [click on pictures to enlarge].
Need a hint? Excluded from "known" reserves are most recent off-shore discoveries... and all shale/tar sands oil, which could exceed much of what is on the "top 10" list.
But given anti-energy forces in the U.S. and Europe, the "known reserves" picture is probably the most accurate assessment of what can be counted on for the future.
Oil Shale ResourcesYes, the anti-energy forces want you to believe that we should ignore the reality of today while we focus solely on what might be answers decades in the future.
While oil shale is found in many places worldwide, by far the largest deposits in the world are found in the United States in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.2 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable; however, even a moderate estimate of 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation is three times greater than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, the estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from the Green River Formation would last for more than 400 years.
We may not be able to "drill" our way out of potential supply problems, but "drilling" is not the only answer. If you ignore the supply side of "supply and demand," you can bet the last "oil price bubble" will not be the last... and the present global economic downturn will occur again and again as economies are whip-sawed by energy price movements.
Harry and his ilk are not "wrong" about the need to develop other sources of reliable energy... they simply are not realistic about it.