Monday, June 13, 2011

A snip from 2009, Mechanical Engineering magazine

Recently, in cleaning out some articles we found this piece of clarity, from the August 2009 issue of Mechanical Engineering, the magazine of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME):

excerpts from: the Oil Age, by Frank Wicks

"Most oil producing countries have passed peak production.  The United States had been an exporter until production peaked in 1970.  It now relies on imports for about 60 % of the 20 million barrels per day that the country consumes."

"Another rough estimate is that the world started the Oil Age with about two trillion barrels of recoverable oil.  About half of that has been extracted.  The remaining trillion barrels represent about a 30 year supply at the current rate of consumption and will be much more difficult to recover."  [MP Note:  Unfortunately, it won't be possible to extract the last trillion barrels over 30 years, due to the physics of flow through porous media; so the rate of consumption will have to drop, each year.  A good guess would be that the last trillion barrels might last around 80 years - and in order to do that, the rate of extraction will have to drop continuously, and precipitously, once again due to physical constraints, not due to man.]

"The fundamental problem is that oil is too good.  It is required for most things that we do.  The alternatives are mostly inferior or less acceptable.  Adapting to the next half and the end of the Oil Age may be the greatest challenge our civilization has ever had to face."   [emphasis is ours]

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