Thursday, September 07, 2006

don't go back to sleep

Today the price of oil is down to a 5 month low of $67 and change per barrel. This is probably due in large part to the recent announcement that Chevron has discovered an oil field deep below the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico. But before we all roll over and go back to sleep let's look at what was found.

Today the U.S. consumes about 22 MMbbls/d. By 2010, we'll likely be consuming about 25 MMbbls/d. At that consumption rate, those 15 billion barrels of crude would only give the United States a 21 month supply!"

You can read more from Luke Burgess on the topic by clicking here. If you prefer audio on the topic you can listen by clicking here and scrolling down.

Remember a peak in oil production doesn't mean we've run out of the stuff. It only means we've used about half of what exists. There will be future finds and they will be important. But let's not use those discoveries as an excuse to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more years of ignoring reality. Let's use them as a way to delay the end of oil and respond reasonably to a future which will run on increasingly less fossil fuel energy. In other words this new find should not be taken as a sign that there is nothing to worry about but rather as a wake up call that oil is getting harder to pump. The new discovery is more than 5 miles below sea level!

Now is the time for transition not complacency.

1 comment:

Erik said...

Glad to see you're urging caution, while the news media declare that our problems are over. A good post on the numbers of this discovery can be found at Jeff Vail's website. I recommend it, and the other postings on there. Thanks for the site! Keep it up!