Thoughts about oil

We've not seen any proof that oil is finite. As time progresses new technologies enable us to get at more oil every year. "Peak oil" was supposed to happen twenty years ago, yet new sources are still being discovered all the time.

 

But if prices continue to stay high the oil companies and oil exporting nations will eventually price themselves out of business. Twenty years ago the electric car was a joke, today there are several models available on dealer lots for purchase with more in development. We have also made great strides in fuel economy of traditionally powered vehicles, 40MPG is a reality many Americans see every day. Another 20 years may see 60MPG as a reality, with many vehicles using no gasoline at all on the daily commute.

 

If we get close to the $3/gal national average price again drilling in the US will become profitable once more.  What OPEC and these Middle-Eastern nations don't understand, they're slowly pricing themselves out of business.  On the bright side kicking oil to the curb will mean the Middle-East's influence on the global scale will drop dramatically... which is a very good thing.

Comments

Leroy Added Nov 14, 2017 - 5:38pm
There is one theory that says oil is renewable.  In effect, we have an infinite supply.
Dino Manalis Added Nov 15, 2017 - 8:16am
Oil is abundant, but every threat to supplies causes a spike in oil and gasoline prices.  However, appropriate actions in the U.S. could reduces petroleum and gasoline prices to the level they were in the Eighties and Nineties, like drilling on Native American lands; more refineries; and greater usage of other energies, like clean energy and natural gas.
Phil Greenough Added Nov 15, 2017 - 8:57am
Who would ever price themselves out of business?  To the extent prices are so high that people choose not to buy your product, any rational individual would lower the price.  What causes businesses to go out of business is technological advancement.  Say a solar power car was developed that didn’t have any of the technological hurdles or challenges of today’s solar technology and only cost pennies to install on a house or car.  There would be no demand for oil and the industry would cease to exist.  Or do you think it was high prices that caused all those buggy whip manufacturers to go out of business?
Tom C. Purcell Added Nov 15, 2017 - 10:39am
Planet Earth is finite.  Isn't this where we drill?
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 15, 2017 - 11:32am
I always wondered about the 'millions of tiny sea creatures' floating around in the primeval soup, but never enough to challenge it. Why did they pick Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and a few other hot spots to congregate, die and decompose? 
Then I started to read articles on a theory positing that the planet creates oil. As it seemed to be presented by Intelligent Design supporters, again I did not think about it too much.
Then I found myself in a thread with someone who a) had worked in the oil exploration industry, b) by his comments demonstrated that he was not a supporter of intelligent design and c) explained it very logically.
I didn't become a believer in the regenerating oil theory, I don't know enough to form an opinion. Same with Intelligent Design, while I can reject The God Of Abraham, I do not know enough about the universe to completely reject the idea of things happening 'long ago and far away,' that contradict everything we think we know.
PaganTeaPartier Added Nov 15, 2017 - 1:32pm
Ian
 
There's no reason that natural processes can't also be governed by statistically consistent probabilities, which aren't actually "Random" at all.
 
Likewise there is no reason to expect that if any of many ways, that the observations which form our current understanding could be invalidated were realized, that the resulting understanding would be an obvious manifestation of Divine Intervention.
 
The only thing which is certain, is that any new understanding is going only succeed in revealing new questions.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 17, 2017 - 2:34pm
Good article. I don't understand enough of the issue, but I'm sceptical about the groups that tell us which technology is problematic and which not, which ressources are scarce and which not. Particularly this oil thing has been a farce. They now need to talk about the climate to smear oil-reliant industries. The oil price is too low to run this particular scare machine. Most annoying is that our assessment of risks have now come to have nothing to do with the actual situation because of these groups.
PaganTeaPartier Added Nov 18, 2017 - 4:17am
Benjamin
 
The Saudis massively stepped up production to deliberately drop the bottom out of the market for crude. The current low price was generated artificially, and it is not known how long Saudi Arabia will have the inclination or capacity to continue this pace.
 
We're not going to run out of oil. The price might still go up significantly, but when it does more difficult to recover oil will become a viable resource, and a great deal of that is in the United States.
 
We'll have all of the oil that we need, to last until alternative energy technologies become sufficiently advanced to be economically feasible. The problem is that people are trying to pretend that any of them other than nuclear, is developed enough to come anywhere close to meeting our energy needs.