oil reserves?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by bostonmini, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. C. Losito

    C. Losito Formula Junior

    Dec 12, 2003
    Metro St. Louis
    Full Name:
    Chris Losito
    Synthetic oil, 6$ a quart
    Colder plugs, $2 a plug
    Re-jet the carb, approx. $45
    High capacity fuel pump, $150
    Ethanol, $$$?
    Driving my 1970 Dodge Dart in 2050, priceless. :D
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  3. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    On the assumption that ExxonMobil knows a little bit about oil and gas and finding them, check out the following links. The outlook is to 2020. The technology changes so rapidly that predicting new discoveries beyond 2020 is almost meaningless; hence it's difficult to find a prediction beyond then.




    Tidbits from above
    Transportation (all forms) accounts for slightly more than 40% of oil demand today and is the fastest growing sector of usage, driven primarily by the increasing transportation in developing countries

    Gains in fuel efficiency are being offset by increasing number of cars.

    $200 billion US will be required to maintain sufficient oil and gas production to meet world demand post-2003.

    Solar and wind power are the fastest growing alternative energy resources today, but are so small that they will still comprise 0.5% by 2020.

    The world uses about 75 million barrels per day of oil (28 billion per year). The proven reserves obtainable by conventional technologies are estimated at 3 trillion barrels. An additional 4.3 trillion barrels of unconventional reserves in place.

    Less than 1 trillion barrels have been put into production since starting in the 1800s. However, 400 billion of that was produced since 1980.

    Recoverable reserves are 70% higher today than in 1980.

    From DOE Energy Information Agency site

    The US has 22 billion barrels of US estimated reserves.

    Texas has 22% of the US estimated reserves, 4.9 billion barrels.

    Alaska has 4.85 billion bbls

    Oklahoma has 0.56 billion bbls

    Saudi Arabia has 262 billion barrels

    Note the jump that Canada took between 2001 and 2003. This is a result of the developing technology in oil sands production.
  4. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Here's an article that, well, pretty much supports Jon's position (as well as mine back near the top of this thread).




    Understanding Petroleum

    By Pete Geddes

    Two questions nag America's energy policy. First, when will America move from fossil fuels? Second, what is the next source of BTUs?

    No one knows the answers - but knowledgeable people agree the shift won't come soon. Aside from temporary shortages caused by political disruptions, the world is awash in cheap oil and will be for a long time. Supplies of coal are even cheaper and far more abundant.

    But a change is coming. When it occurs, it's likely to resemble the 17th century transition in England when coal replaced wood, and then again in the 19th century when oil displaced coal. Fortunately for the environment, in the developed world, the transition will be to cleaner fuels.

    Some find it frustrating not knowing what our energy future holds, but an uncertain future is the only one we have. Here, however, are some things we do know.

    First: There is no energy crisis. Oil prices are moderate in constant dollars and the price of gasoline has been on a steady downward trend since 1920. Despite recurrent alarms, the world is not (and has never been) in immediate danger of running out of oil. Oil reserves depend more on price and technology than on geology.

    Finding oil is expensive and risky. Thus, when petroleum prices are low, there is little incentive to search for more. When oil becomes scarce, rising prices create incentives for exploration.

    Higher prices do two other important things. They increase conservation and spur the search for substitutes. For example, alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and hydrogen could replace gasoline if oil prices rose high enough to make them competitive.

    Second: In the near term, alternative energy (e.g., solar and wind) can't compete with fossil fuels. The Energy Information Agency predicts that by 2020 all renewables will account for less than 4 percent of U.S. energy supply. In 1999 they contributed 3.37 percent. Toward the end of the century they are likely to be significant. But for the next few decades, almost all new energy demand will be met by fossil fuels or nuclear power.

    Reasonable people argue that energy-efficient technologies could compete if corporate subsidies were removed. However, the political reality precludes this possibility. Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, and Ed Crane, president of the libertarian Cato Institute, recently wrote in the Washington Post regarding last session's energy bill, " The… bill crafted by the Democrats… has a hurricane of subsidies, tax breaks and regulatory preferences for every energy industry you can imagine. And despite Democrats' green rhetoric, the… bill rains roughly the same level of subsidies on the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries as it does on 'green' energy technologies...."

    Third: The U.S. will remain dependent on imported oil. This is because our reserves have been almost fully explored and developed. Undiscovered oil in ANWR and the Rocky Mountain Front can only marginally increase domestic supply. But even if every drop of oil we consumed came from domestic sources, international shortfalls would raise domestic oil prices. That's because global economic forces ultimately trump regional markets. Thus, regional prices for crude oil match world prices. For example, in 1979, Great Britain - which was totally energy independent due to production from its North Sea fields - had oil price spikes as high as Japan, which imported all of its oil.

    Fourth: The market process does a better job managing energy fluctuations than do politicians. Markets effectively ration the available supply to those willing to pay the increased costs while inducing others to conserve and substitute. An important benefit of prices set by the market is that they force people to act as though they cared about what others want.

    The energy crisis in the 1970s was mainly caused by President Nixon's price controls. The perverse incentives of such polices always generate unintended consequences. For example, oil price controls kept prices artificially low. This crushed incentives for bringing new production on-line. Concurrently, lower prices stimulated consumption while discouraging conservation.

    We can return to those nagging questions with one clear answer. When considering our energy future, remember these truths: politicians are opportunistic, brains are excellent substitutes for BTUs, and markets give incentives to put brains to work.

    Pete Geddes is Program Director of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) and Gallatin Writers. Both are based in Bozeman, Montana.
  5. bostonmini

    bostonmini Formula 3

    Nov 8, 2003
    I didn't bother looking back to who wrote it, but it is definitely true that instead of making electric cars, why not look for an electric boeing 737, I bet these devices are using tons;) also, those 18 wheelers are much less efficient than they could be, as is the home heating situation (so many still use oil) It really sucks.


    Aug 20, 2001
    East Coast
    Full Name:
    Jon K.

    I don't pretent to know much about oil exploration or the industry in general, but it is my limited understanding that there are limits to how far we can drill and how far down we can look for oil given the current technology.

    Is this correct? In other words have we been able to accurately explore every inch of the earth beneath us to confirm that we have found all the oil?

    Again, regardless, if we examine what Dennis posted and I have mentioned eventually if oil does become scarce we will simply replace it with something more cost effective.


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    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    I wouldnt worry too much about it. Russia has reserves at least as large as Saudi & Canada has large reserves of shale oil + there is Alaska & undersea oil. So there is a lot of dinosaur juice out there.

    If more people buy hybrids it means theres more gas available for our Ferraris :)
  9. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    All, William is right. There's a lot of oil down there. In fact, there is so much that the Saudis are having a tough time keeping OPEC together. Just wait till Iraq really starts pumping oil again. Add this to Russian oil, and there's a whole lotta shaking going on.

    Also, I was chatting with a geologist the other day about an interesting new theory that is making the rounds in oil land. Namely, the thinking is that there may be a layer of oil underneath the crust that represents millions of years worth of oil. Because we have been finding oil in places where we don't think ole Dino the Dinosaur roamed, e.g., the North Slope, the thinking is that oil represents more than just Dino juice.

    The problem then is not running out of oil. The problem is how to deal with the pollution issues without driving the economy into the tank. It is easy to be for clean air and all that. However, do you want to see coast-to-coast "supersaver" airfares jump to $2,500? If not, you need to keep the price of oil down around $20 to $25 a barrel. Life is full of hard choices, and this tightrope is one of them.

    Dr "Texas Tea" Tax
  10. rcallahan

    rcallahan F1 Rookie

    Jul 15, 2002
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Bob Callahan
    Jon, I agree. When the world runs out of easily obtainable oil, we will surely be clever enough to come up with a replacement.

  11. DrewH

    DrewH F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 4, 2003
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Full Name:
    The oil sands in Alberta, Canada are said to have up to twice as much reserves as what is known to exsist in Saudia Arabia. It costs a lot more to extract from the sands but it is there.

    It will probally mean that we will be paying more for fuel as it costs more to produce.

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  13. true

    true Guest

    I'm very suprised nobody has mentioned Afican Oil reserves. There are currently several major explorations in the works, and as far as I can tell, some African countries are going to be producing some good amounts of oil within the next few years. I didn't buy ERHC for no reason! Hoping for good news. :) Risky of course...
  14. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    This implies that we have between 100 and 200 years of known oil left.
  15. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    We will NEVER run out of oil! That is because this is a free market world and as supply decreases, the price will increase, which will fuel (pun intended) development of alternative technologies. This is one of the great things about a capitalist society. Not to sound too elitist, but rising gas prices will affect the lower income levels of society WELL before it affects the higher levels, partly through increased fuel costs, but also through increased everything costs (trucking costs, electricity costs, etc). Nobody here will ever have to worry about not being able to drive their Ferrari. The government and entrepreneurs will step in and correct the problem as soon as it is profitable to do so.

    On oil reserves, I have a friend who manufactures drilling equipment, and my understanding from him is that it's not so much a question of what is in there, but the costs to get it. We don't drain dry an oil field now, we take the "easy" oil, and search for new sources that are easy. If that easy oil disappears, we have a LOT of "hard" oil to get, as well as new techniques to get oil that was previously considered un-mine-able.
  16. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

    Sep 27, 2002
    Full Name:
    Cool thread. I just watched "The Core" this weekend. In the movie they stated that the 30-mile-deep crust of the earth is like the skin on a peach. And we have only been 7 miles down. Not sure if this is true or not.

    BTW, I hate Exxon and refuse to pay for their drunk-ass sailor's mistake 15 f-ing years ago...

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