[Ok-sus] The next great oil crisis
bwaldrop1952 at att.net
Sat Sep 8 20:52:54 CDT 2012
Below is a snip of the article. Much more at the link, including an
interesting info graphic on oil.
Bob Waldrop, OKC
The Next Great Oil Crisis
Technology is making it possible to tap vast new oil supplies. But
that could be the proverbial drop in the gas tank compared to rising
By Greg Gordon
McClatchy News Service
WASHINGTON -- After nearly a decade of warnings that the world's oil
supply was running out, Americans now are hearing about technology
breakthroughs that can unlock vast U.S. deposits of natural gas, help
reverse a 40-year slide in domestic oil production and perhaps transform
America into the next Middle East.
Despite the euphoria, there's a major problem: The looming American oil
glut may simply not be enough to sate the United States and the rest of
Experts say soaring demand from China and India is sure to send oil
prices back above $100 a barrel. A supply disruption in the coming
years, they say, could trigger panic, gasoline hoarding and perhaps lead
to lines at the pumps akin to the 1973 Arab oil embargo and the 1979
Global shortfalls of other fuels also could develop sooner than many
people think, as a planet of nearly seven billion people and more than
one billion gasoline-gulping vehicles strains the limits of combustible
energy resources that are the underpinning of modern civilization.
While oil industry officials take strong issue with these dim views,
critics charge that governments here and abroad have been less than
candid about future oil supplies and the ramifications of failing to
shift to alternative fuels.
One outspoken Energy Department consultant, Robert Hirsch, alleged that
the administrations of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama
have engaged in a cover-up of the likelihood of an oil shortage. Hirsch
predicted a shortfall will hit in the next four years and send
shockwaves through the world economy, possibly leading to gasoline
rationing. Few governments have implemented intensive conservation
programs to stretch out supplies during a decades-long transition to
more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Instead, critics say that even as oil prices nearly quadrupled from 2003
through 2011, government and industry leaders have played down the
world's worsening energy predicament.
. While U.S. industry officials have trumpeted new drilling techniques
that can recover huge deposits of previously unreachable oil and natural
gas, most say little about the likelihood of surging Third World demand
overtaking supplies, causing shortages and skyrocketing prices.
. Industry watchdogs say that some U.S. Energy Information
Administration forecasts have been wildly optimistic, especially a
projection that between 2011 and 2035, global production of liquid fuels
will see a 21.6 million-barrel rise in daily output --- the equivalent
of the current reserves of the five biggest Middle East oil producers.
. Other projections and policies by the Energy Information
Administration, which is the Energy Department's independent information
arm, as well as the Paris-based International Energy Agency and even the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, have masked mounting risks of
shortages of oil and possibly natural gas, several experts say. A
McClatchy computer analysis suggests that proven reserves of all of the
world's primary fuels are likely to diminish much faster than the EIA
and the IEA have suggested, raising questions about how long mankind can
continue to increase consumption of finite resources.
Researchers at the International Monetary Fund, while not yet speaking
for the fund, predicted in May that rising oil demand would drive prices
to nearly $200 a barrel, "permanently," within a decade. Commodities
speculators could exacerbate a price surge if they echo their behavior
in recent oil spikes.
Read more here:
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