No Shortage of Oil
These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than
5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
Please click here
to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Predictions of oil
supplies drying up within a few years have been common over the last
150 years, despite estimates of the total amount of oil resources still
in the ground continually growing throughout the 20th century. In 1920,
the U.S. Geological Survey announced that the world's total store of
oil amounted to 60 billion (60B) barrels. In 1950, the world's total
oil endowment was estimated at around 600B barrels. From 1970 through
1990, the estimates increased to between 1,500B and 2,000B barrels.
In 1994, the U.S. Geological Survey raised the estimate to 2,400B barrels,
and the 2000 estimate was of a 3,000B-barrel endowment. This is possible
because the world's oil endowment is much larger than its oil reserves,
which are identified resources that can be economically extracted and
refined using current technology. As new technologies increase the amount
of recoverable oil, and market prices encourage new exploration and
development, the world's total endowment goes up. That does not even
include unconventional oil resources like oil shales, for example, which
could easily be as large as 14,000B barrels. More than 500 years of
oil supply are now known to exist at 2000 production rates, and does
not include other fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal.