More Oil

A persistant fantasy is that if oil companies are allowed to explore and drill everywhere, we can find enough new oil to make up for the decline of production from existing fields.  While there will be continued exploration and successful extraction of oil, the evidence suggests that the amount to be found is much, much less than what has already been found, far too little to do more than cushion the decline a bit.  Much of what  oil still remains to be extracted is “unconventional oil” such as the Canadian and Venezuelan tar sands.   Those require massive energy inputs to extract.  And anyone listening to the news knows about the expense and risk associated with the pockets of oil underneath the sea.

Whenever you hear about a “huge” untapped oil reserve, do your arithmetic.  At the current worldwide consumption of 85 million barrels per day, a billion barrels of oil is less than 12 days supply.

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