There is no easy alternative to oil.
JERICAN | 2007/05/30
We are reaching closer to 'peak oil' with each passing day. Analysts predict the inevitable to come with this century. Present measures taken, the future consumption of petroleum in America may drop and possibly even decrease, but are biofuels really the key to the solution?
European countries have already made a switch to biofuels and are beginning to feel the effects and complications. While it hasn't resulted in direct food shortages, biodiesel is already causing shortages of vegetable oils.
Will countries like China and India follow this trend in energy conversion? It is difficult to imagine any country with enormous population would make such a move. This conversion could result in massive world food shortages as never experienced. Both countries realize this and are pursuing aggressive oil exploration.
Some American environmentalists believe that it is possible to make a complete switch from crude oil to alternatives by 2050. This is very unrealistic as crude oil provides us with more than just a form of energy. It is a raw source of chemicals for manufacturing drugs, plastics, chemicals, and fabrics.
So what is the realistic solution with the arrival of peak oil? Canada, USA, and Venezuela sit on more unconventional oil than all historical conventional crude and present reserves that are available. Peak oil does not mean an abrupt end to oil. It does mean that demand of conventional oil will exceed supplies of conventional crude. This spells the end to cheap crude.
Extracting oil out of America's huge oil shale deposits is once again drawing attention. It will be successful as new technology comes on stream. With higher crude prices there will be decent returns in revenue. It will inspire more interest and new ideas. Oil companies' attention will once again be drawn to this area.
This is the era for non-conventional oils. Needs, economics and unrealistic alternatives will make us realize that the world can adapt to and meet these challenges. Non-conventional supplies of crude oil will play an important role in the generations to come.
Published on 2007/05/30 by JERICAN