Is the OIL running out..?!!

  charmingman 12:58 28 May 08

various people have stated that they belive the oil is running out or is close to & the goverments know this, if this is the case this would cause utter mayhem for many decades to come & would change the whole human race, DO YOU BELIVE ITS CLOSE TO GONE?


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  gardener 13:14 28 May 08

No, it's not gone, it's just we are reaching the point where demand is overtaking the ability to supply.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:29 28 May 08

There is plenty of oil but it is getting more expensive to attract. There are also huge amounts of tar and shale oil that exceed any past capacity from OPEC. However, for reasons that I have written about in the other fuel thread, it is to all oil-producing counties benefits to keep the price of oil. If you were selling oil, what would you rather have...$60 or $130? OPEC steadfastly refuses to increase production. One could use De Beers as a good example where they control the supply of diamonds to the world. Contrary to popular belief, there are huge amounts of diamonds that are wuithheld from the market to keep the prices high. It is more to do with financial expectations than supply and demand ;-)


  gardener 13:44 28 May 08

I suppose the same can be said for most natural resources, Britain has plenty of coal left but it's uneconomical to present. Cornish copper and tin went the same way, it's still there in the ground but until the price is right it'll stay there.

  Stuartli 13:57 28 May 08

Oil won't run out for at least 50 to a 100 years or more but is, as GANDALF <|:-)> rightly states, getting more and more difficult to exploit and extract.

It's only yesterday or the day before that a large new oil rig set off from the UK by ship to the Gulf of Mexico, where a huge new oil field was discovered a couple of years ago and which could boost UK oil reserves by more than 50 per cent.

IIRC the oil rig will be required to start drilling from approximately 8,000 feet down.

  Cymro. 14:00 28 May 08

There may very well be more oil still in the ground than we are led to believe but as has already been said it is not so much the amount of oil but the cost of getting it out of the ground.

We are apt to just think of oil for petrol to put in our cars, but we should remember that there are also other uses for oil such as in the chemical industry.

The general motoring public may well be the first to suffer in any shortage of oil as there may well be other more important uses for the stuff.

My guess would be that the very last few barrels of oil will be very valuable and so much too important for any government to let us the public get our hands on.

  gardener 14:18 28 May 08

Cymro is spot on. Oil has a myriad uses. I used to have a printed list of all the products that can be fractioned from coal, the list was huge and it made one realize that the most wasteful way of using it was to just burn it.

  Stuartli 16:23 28 May 08

Car fuel is but a tiny part of the use for oil - in fact initially it was a waste product of the refining processes.

Petrol isn't expensive, little more than a few pence per gallon, just as with the basic price of cigarettes or beer.

It is, of course, the duty and taxes on these products that dramatically increases the cost, imposed by governments that produce little or no real wealth of their own.

It proves the point that if you have a monopoly you can readily/easily waste taxpapers' money, knowing that if you need more you only need to bump up taxes.

  Cymro. 17:25 28 May 08

"It proves the point that if you have a monopoly you can readily/easily waste taxpapers' money, knowing that if you need more you only need to bump up taxes".

But what monopoly, the monopoly of government or the monopoly of the oil producers? In many instances they are one in the same, but companies such as Shell, BP, Texaco and the like are not government owned nor are they monopoles not officially anyway.

  georgemac © 17:47 28 May 08

I have always said the UK will one day look back with dismay on when the mining industry was destroyed in the seventies, and the resultant dash for gas. Yes the unions needed to be sorted out, but the UK needs a long term energy policy, something we have never really had, and this policy must include energy efficient homes and cars.

Planning permission for new UK homes should now be dependant on energy efficient homes, with solar panels and ground source heating systems - if the big developers are force to go this way the prices of these systems will reduce.

The world will not run out of fossil fuels for some time, but the price will stay high unless demand reduces dramatically.

A lot of the oil is not recovered from the oil fields, more research should have been done on how to enhance recovery rates, this was uneconomic with previous prices, but the economics have changed now. I still do not think a lot of research and effort is going into this area.

  newman35 17:50 28 May 08

"...Gulf of Mexico, where a huge new oil field was discovered a couple of years ago and which could boost UK oil reserves by more than 50 per cent."

Not altogether clear about this, if the oil is in the Gulf of Mexico, will it really be ours??

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