March 14, 2008

Future Trends in Energy - supplies graphic

Oil supplies may not last forever. But oil will be available for use long beyond our children's lifetimes. While no one can accurately predict oil's relative supply and demand, even in the near future, several theorists have attempted to predict when and how the world will run out of oil. The most notable theorist on this subject is M. King Hubbert.

Project World Demand for Energy by Type
Chart courtesy of Earth Science World and Exxon-Mobil

Hubbert's Peak

Hubbert's Peak Hubbert started out in the 1950's claiming that oil is a naturally occurring resource which will not last forever - production will rise to a point that cannot be sustained and then die down to a point of total depletion. This, to most, seems a fairly obvious assumption. Understanding his theories, one can conclude that once Hubbert's Peak has been reached, half of the world's oil reserves will have been depleted. This is also the case for a field with several wells. When one takes what has already been produced from the field and what can potentially be produced for the field combined this number becomes its ultimate potential. Its peak in production would be placed at the ultimate divided by two. The only way to precisely determine the ultimate for the world's oil reserves is to count them when they have been depleted

No comments: