Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.

(edited)

Although articles posted in Oilprice.com have referenced, and discussions have focused, on all manner of technological innovation to try to coax some extra barrels of oil out of the ground in order to satisfy what seems to be a never-ending upwelling of demand, it might be sobering for the readership to contemplate the Brave New World where demand dramatically shrinks, and producers are left facing a market that is unwilling to absorb their output.  And how likely is that?  The conventional wisdom guys will scoff and say: “That is never going to happen.  We have to continue to climb until we get to Peak Oil, and that is X decades away, so we gotta keep pumping!  And fracking!  And drilling! And go into Deep Water!  And go into the Arctic! And…”

Well, guess what folks, I posit that it is not only entirely likely that “demand” will collapse, but that it is more likely than not, so the Producer States better get used to the idea.  
What will be the instrument of this tectonic shift?  Some blazing new concept?  Nope.  It will come from that most prosaic civil engineering structure:  the tunnel. 

Let me flesh it out for you.  Sitting across Europe is this massive barrier, the Alps.  And sitting smack on top of that barrier is Switzerland.  OK, so the Wars of Europe have pretty much fizzled, and now you have this explosion of trade, with all manner of goods and materials fighting to get over those Alps from Northern Europe into Italy, and from Italy into Northern Europe.  And you couple that with the semi-trailer truck, and two-lane mountain roads corkscrewing their way up and down those “passes,” really seriously high roads a little bit lower than the mountain peaks, trying to haul all those goods.  So what happened was entirely predictable:  vastly long lines of queuing trucks grinding their way up and down in low gear  (or low-low gear), burning up staggeringly vast amounts of diesel just to get a hundred miles from Germany to Italy (or France to Italy, or Slovenia to Italy, you get the idea).  And you have the same pattern with the Carpathian Mountains over to the East, and in the USA to the Appalachians running the full length of the Country from Maine to Georgia. 

So the Swiss got fed up with this road-hogging and road-jamming and decided to start building Tunnels.  And these tunnels were not the old pick-axe and dynamite jobs, they – in classic Swiss fashion – were going to be done with Tunnel-Boring Machines, some gargantuan device with a rotor head with diamond-tipped cutting teeth and internal conveyors to carry out the slag, and even install concrete liner sections as they went.  In any event, these machines ended up fully developed and are now quite mundane pieces of machinery, off-the-shelf, and hey if you want to go build yourself a tunnel of 27 feet diameter, pick up the phone and go order yourself one. And that was how that ultra-long tunnel from England all the way to France, under the English Channel, was built.  They set up one boring machine at one end, and another at the other end, and let some laser guidance machine meet the sections up at the middle. 

Now while the Swiss did this out of exasperation with their little roads getting clogged up with foreign trucks, one aspect of this is the dramatic drop in fuel consumption. Let’s move over to that most profligate of fuel-using nations, the US of A, and take a look.  If you study the Interstate 68 from Baltimore Harbor across the Appalachians to Morgantown, West Virginia, you will find that over that 168 miles fully 40% of the fuel burn is consumed over only 30,000 feet of roadway. And that is the stretches, six of them, where the road goes up and down over the folds of the Appalachians, and the trucks go grinding up in low gear and the fuel just gushes into the engines.

You might be surprised to learn that a big truck or tour-bus diesel consumes very little “on the flat;” it is just loafing, and sips the fuel.  The major use is in acceleration and hill-climbing.  OK, so let’s take the experience of the I-68 through Western Maryland and extrapolate that to the 100 heaviest-trafficked sections of road where they have to climb a mountain.  And how much fuel burn do you avoid, in the national truck fleet?  30%?  40%?  Whatever the number is, it is a lot.

So:  along comes the U.S. Federal Government, and decides (OK, that is the House of Representatives, but still) to get off foreign oil, by allocating the funds to go build tunnels.  And if you figure a billion a tunnel, for that 100 tunnels you are looking at 100 Billion, all-in. Is this politically “do-able”?  Of course it is.  Is it technically “do-able”?  Sure; pick up the phone and go order yourself some boring machines, even used ones, there are lots out there.  And some energetic manufacturers who would be delighted to go build you some more!

So then:  two years from now, you have your 100 big tunnels all built, and the laden trucks can go rolling along and never have to drop down out of high gear, and cruise underneath those mountains doing a steady 55.  And there goes your national fuel consumption.  Now remember: you have not changed a thing in the fleet.  No fancy Musk-style electric trucks.  No fancy flywheel transmissions.  No battery packs, or capacitor banks slung underneath, or  CNG engines, or overhead trolley poles, no nothing!  It all stays the same. All you have done is dig some holes. 

And there goes the world aggregate fuel demand.  You don’t even have product substitution: all you have is demand diminishment.  So, here is the nightmare for producers:  with all that oil chasing limited demand, whose ox gets gored?  Which producer State is going to face the prospect of total shut-in of their oil production?  Canada?  Venezuela? Norway?  Alaska?  You tell me. And what happens to the price of oil?  Sink like a stone?  Headed for twenty bucks?  Less?

Amazing what a simple hole in the ground can do.
 

Edited by Jan van Eck
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Are the expected environmental groups lawsuits and landowner protests in your calculations?

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3 minutes ago, Jo Mack said:

Are the expected environmental groups lawsuits and landowner protests in your calculations?

What lawsuits?  You are digging a tunnel.  It goes right smack underneath the existing road.  Instead of the road going up and down, it now goes through the tunnel.  It gets spliced in, starting where the existing road starts to go up, and when it ends up coming down.  The land is already "owned" by the govt., and nobody has what is called in legal terms "Standing" to go complain, because no individual is aggrieved.  Besides, the Feds are pretty much immune from suit anyway.  OK, so you do an "environmental impact."  What is the environmental impact of digging a tunnel?  Not a negative, that's for sure. 

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13 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

So then:  two years from now, you have your 100 big tunnels all built, and the laden trucks can go rolling along and never have to drop down out of high gear, and cruise underneath those mountains doing a steady 55.  And there goes your national fuel consumption.  Now remember: you have not changed a thing in the fleet.  No fancy Musk-style electric trucks.  No fancy flywheel transmissions.  No battery packs, or capacitor banks slung underneath, or  CNG engines, or overhead trolley poles, no nothing!  It all stays the same. All you have done is dig some holes.

Building 100 big tunnels in just 2 years is unrealistic.

The construction of the 57 km Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland started in 1998 and ended in 2016.

The construction of the 57 km  Mont d'Ambin Tunnel (also called Mont Cenis) between France and Italy started in 2016 but is facing now some questioning from the new italian government and the project could be delayed.

Both tunnels are not road tunnels but railways tunnels. Trucks are loaded on the trains as in the Channel Tunnel with the drivers  travelling  in a railway passenger car or couchette wiith seats or beds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthard_Base_Tunnel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_d'Ambin_Base_Tunnel

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6 minutes ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

Building 100 big tunnels in just 2 years is unrealistic.

The construction of the 57 km Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland started in 1998 and ended in 2016.

The construction of the 57 km  Mont d'Ambin Tunnel (also called Mont Cenis) between France and Italy started in 2016 but is facing now some questioning from the new italian government and the project could be delayed.

Both tunnels are not road tunnels but railways tunnels. Trucks are loaded on the trains as in the Channel Tunnel with the drivers  travelling  in a railway passenger car or couchette wiith seats or beds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthard_Base_Tunnel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_d'Ambin_Base_Tunnel

These American tunnels will not be long digs such as in Switzerland.  You are going underneath folds in the Appalachians, probably only 5,000 feet.  Does not take long to do.  Even at only 100 feet a day, you are all done digging in two months.  Goes fast.

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Swiss tunnels are hardly a model for much vaster spaces like the Appalachians or the Rockies.  One niche technology needs evidence and time to demonstrate it can be upscaled as suggested, so until then statements such as "poof, there goes US oil demand" can be safely ignored.

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6 minutes ago, Batman said:

Swiss tunnels are hardly a model for much vaster spaces like the Appalachians or the Rockies.  One niche technology needs evidence and time to demonstrate it can be upscaled as suggested, so until then statements such as "poof, there goes US oil demand" can be safely ignored.

And that's fine, Mr. Bizon, if you don't like what I write, then you put up your own post with your own thinking.  Putting "downvotes" on someone else's post just because you do not agree is gauche, and frowned upon here. 

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So, Jan, you are saying that the fuel savings from these tunnels being built is enough to crash the price? I read where 71% of oil consumed in the USA is used in transportation but I haven't found how much of that is used for trucking. Trying to wrap my head around your tunnel idea... how much oil it would save... and if this could crash the price.

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The U.S. can't even build a bullet train. The one in Dallas is never going to materialize. If we hire the Chinese to build these tunnels then maybe it could get done, but not otherwise.

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(edited)

26 minutes ago, BillKidd said:

So, Jan, you are saying that the fuel savings from these tunnels being built is enough to crash the price? I read where 71% of oil consumed in the USA is used in transportation but I haven't found how much of that is used for trucking. Trying to wrap my head around your tunnel idea... how much oil it would save... and if this could crash the price.

Bill, remember that the "price" of crude oil(as well as transport fuels) is set in the interim by speculators trading on the various commodities exchanges. When the traders see a drop in consumption and a concurrent bulging of inventory, they start bidding down the futures contracts and that collapses the trading prices.  A "herd effect" kicks in and you get these price swings.  Ultimately, what you will end up with a a reduction in consumption in the margin, and the producers start elbowing each other to sell their product at the loss of the other guy.  That then kicks the pricing structure downstairs, until one of the producers (or more) gives up and drops out. It is because of these activities at the margins that you see these large price swings in the market. 

Now, although I used trucking as the example, remember that the same situation is the case with a personal auto.  You would be shocked at how little fuel (and power) is actually required to keep a vehicle running at a steady speed. Up to about 40-45 mph, the major factor demanding power is tire rolling resistance.  Above that, and wind resistance dominates. Even so, taking again the example of a heavy bus weighing in atg 36,500 lbs, it requires only about 75 hp. to roll at 55 mph. wnen "on the flat". 

Put that same bus on an upgrade of say 5%  [a 5% grade is five feet vertical rise in 100 feet, not an angle of 5% from the horizontal, incidentally] and the hp requirement zooms up to 400.  Kick the grade up to 7% and the hp demand goes to over 480.  Where the fuel burn on the flat might be 7.5 gal/hr on the flat, it will just zoom to 40 gph on a steep grade.  You see the problems. And laden trucks are even more consumptive. 

Let us assume that you have 22 million bbl/day of oil burned in transport.  Now you chop 30% of that off after you have tunneled the landscape. You have just dropped 6 or 7 million bbl/day off the national consumption. Here people are moaning and groaning about the effect(s) of some incremental increase of 1 MM bpd or 1.5 MM bpd, yet the potential certainly exists for a vast decrease hitting in two years - if the Feds got serious. 

This was exactly what I proposed to do when I was considering the position of Secretary of Transportation, which I did not do, but if I had, those tunnels would already be built, and the burn landscape would be vastly different. Will anybody else do it?  Dunno.  But remembering that The Donald loves to build things, it just might end up that way - if he thinks about it. Probably not, but the prospect is tantalizing.  Cheers.

 

 

 

Edited by Jan van Eck
corrected M to MM
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11 minutes ago, HermitMunster said:

The U.S. can't even build a bullet train. The one in Dallas is never going to materialize. If we hire the Chinese to build these tunnels then maybe it could get done, but not otherwise.

Wow, that is seriously negative!   Hey, the US builds great big long suspension bridges such as the Verrazano Narrows Bridge across the bottom of the Upper Bay in New York Harbor, that one is over a mile long and a real monster, and builds a dozen tunnels underneath the Hudson and East Rivers in NYC, so what is so difficult about a simple land tunnel job?  Nothing to it, really. 

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5 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

Wow, that is seriously negative!   Hey, the US builds great big long suspension bridges such as the Verrazano Narrows Bridge across the bottom of the Upper Bay in New York Harbor, that one is over a mile long and a real monster, and builds a dozen tunnels underneath the Hudson and East Rivers in NYC, so what is so difficult about a simple land tunnel job?  Nothing to it, really. 

It took almost 40 years for the Verrazano Bridge to come to fruition, which re-affirms my previous point.

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3 hours ago, HermitMunster said:

It took almost 40 years for the Verrazano Bridge to come to fruition, which re-affirms my previous point.

Not from when the concrete started being poured. 

The point I am making is that, from an engineering standpoint, running a tunnel-boring machine horizontally through a fold in the Appalachians is a piece of cake to do.  It gets a bit more involved out in the Rockies but remember, you don't have to go from the "zero elevation" point to obtain the desired effect. Even short tunnels of only a thousand or 2,000 feet at the top end will dramatically reduce the national fuel burn. 

Even a relatively flat countryside such as New Jersey has a surprising number of tunnels.  Most are built by the railways, but the principle is the same. You keep the stuff moving fast and at minimum expense. 

I invite you to contemplate the terrain South of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lying to Hazelton, which the Interstate 81 has to traverse, and note the folds of terrain that the roadway has to climb up and down repeatedly. You can build some short tunnels through those folds, from between 2500 ft and 5,000 ft, and your traffic sails right through. And that patterns is throughout the Appalachians.  Those mountains are the land barrier between the East Coast and the populous MidWest, starting at Ohio.  Now imagine just how much fuel is being blown off each day with all the traffic between Ohio and the cities of the East.  Cheers.

Edited by Jan van Eck
typing error

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1 minute ago, Jan van Eck said:

Not from when the concrete started being poured. 

The point I am making is that, from an engineering standpoint, running a tunnel-boring machine horizontally through a fold in the Appalachians is a piece of cake to do.  It gets a bit more involved out in the Rockies but remember, you don't have to go from the "zero elevation" point to obtain the desired effect. Even short tunnels of only a thousand or 2,000 feet at the top end will dramatically reduce the national fuel burn. 

Even a relatively flat countryside such as New Jersey has a surprising number of tunnels.  Most are built by the railways, but the principle is the same. You keep the stuff moving fast and at minimum expense. 

I invite you to contemplate the terrain South of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lying to Hazelton, which the Interstate 81 has to traverse, and note the folds of terrain that the roadway has to climb up and down repeatedly. You can build some short tunnels through those folds, from between 2500 ft and 5,000 ft, and your traffic sails right through. And that patterns is throughout the Appalachians.  Those mountains are the land barrier between the East Coast and the populous MidWest, starting at Ohio.  Now imaging just how much fuel is being blown off each day with all the traffic between Ohio and the cities of the East.  Cheers.

 

I don't think it is a bad idea. I just think it is not something that will ever come to fruition.

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Just now, HermitMunster said:

 

I don't think it is a bad idea. I just think it is not something that will ever come to fruition.

Yet we see guys out there drilling miles down into the seabed and up on the Arctic Rim in unbelievable conditions and don/t even blink. Those deals are a ton tougher than digging some simple tunnel. 

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I travel to the US regularly.The investment there in infrastructure over the last fifty years has lagged behind many other parts of the world.The US needs to get real and start to invest, particularly in fuel efficient aircraft, better rail networks which take out current bottlenecks, with new bridges and appropriate tunnels, and finally upgrade your freeway systems around and between key cities. When I fly into most major US cities I am appalled about the current state of infrastructure which falls behind most major European countries and increasingly the East, in places like Japan and parts of China. Unfortunately many US citizens cannot or do not travel far from the US to appreciate the major leaps in transport technology. Leaving aside commercial aircraft development where Boeing has lost market share to Airbus, the development of high speed trains is in the hands of the Europeans, Chinese and Japanese,  with fuel efficient  freight trains now running between Europe and China and beginning to compete with deep sea freight. Even the north south Australian cross continental rail system is building up market share. Go to Switzerland and see how their railway tunnel system allow long distance trucks efficiently and quickly transit a very mountainous country reducing environmental damage. Because transport fuel is highly taxed in countries like the U.K., with tax taking seventy five per cent of the pump price, we have become adept at developing fuel efficient trucks and cars, and utilising railways to move freight for distances as short as two hundred miles at relatively high speeds compared to the US where poor railway track maintenance keeps rolling speeds low on most freight lines. The US must spend more on infrastructure and particularly tunnels on key freeway and rail routes if they are to grow their GDP.

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3 hours ago, HermitMunster said:

 

I don't think it is a bad idea. I just think it is not something that will ever come to fruition.

Probably not.  Those guys down in the Administration are not exactly imaginative.  But just think what a shocker it would be if they did....

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1 hour ago, Oldflyer said:

I travel to the US regularly.The investment there in infrastructure over the last fifty years has lagged behind many other parts of the world.The US needs to get real and start to invest, particularly in fuel efficient aircraft, better rail networks which take out current bottlenecks, with new bridges and appropriate tunnels, and finally upgrade your freeway systems around and between key cities. When I fly into most major US cities I am appalled about the current state of infrastructure which falls behind most major European countries and increasingly the East, in places like Japan and parts of China. Unfortunately many US citizens cannot or do not travel far from the US to appreciate the major leaps in transport technology. Leaving aside commercial aircraft development where Boeing has lost market share to Airbus, the development of high speed trains is in the hands of the Europeans, Chinese and Japanese,  with fuel efficient  freight trains now running between Europe and China and beginning to compete with deep sea freight. Even the north south Australian cross continental rail system is building up market share. Go to Switzerland and see how their railway tunnel system allow long distance trucks efficiently and quickly transit a very mountainous country reducing environmental damage. Because transport fuel is highly taxed in countries like the U.K., with tax taking seventy five per cent of the pump price, we have become adept at developing fuel efficient trucks and cars, and utilising railways to move freight for distances as short as two hundred miles at relatively high speeds compared to the US where poor railway track maintenance keeps rolling speeds low on most freight lines. The US must spend more on infrastructure and particularly tunnels on key freeway and rail routes if they are to grow their GDP.

We tried building a bullet train. It failed. Our infrastructure is a joke.

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Groundhog Day all over again. But with caveats this time. Oil was a huge political issue 10 years ago "Drill baby, drill!" but big breakthroughs in alternative energy sources have brought in serious competition regardless of the newly discovered oil fields and advanced methods for extracting it. Consider that prior to 2015 selling domestically produced oil to foreign countries was a no-no. After the 40-year ban on prohibiting sale of domestic oil was repealed (and signed by Barack Obama) the race was on to drill and sell more oil, compete with OPEC and if the market began plunging due to economic downturn (a given) the oil behemoths can always stick it to the American consumers (who else)? 

With this current administration and one-party control there is virtually no incentive to develop and reward alternative energy sources or invest in R&D. Such development would benefit not only financially-struggling American consumers, but such eco-friendly technology would help the world leaders confront global warming and its consequences which are being felt today.

The same is true for transportation which, if the U.S. had a forward-looking administration, high-speed trains using existing maglev rail systems, would benefit everyone -- except the ExxonMobil shareholders. 

Unfortunately, the tunnel-vision troglodytes are winning this round and it may be decades before the U.S. once again joins the civilized nations in the development of efficient, clean energy for the future. By then, we may well have more of our citizens living in poverty while the rest of the advanced world looks on with sympathy and sadness at a once-great nation which was a shining beacon that collapsed ignominiously into a Third World country. 

 

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2 hours ago, Richardo said:

Groundhog Day all over again. But with caveats this time. Oil was a huge political issue 10 years ago "Drill baby, drill!" but big breakthroughs in alternative energy sources have brought in serious competition regardless of the newly discovered oil fields and advanced methods for extracting it. Consider that prior to 2015 selling domestically produced oil to foreign countries was a no-no. After the 40-year ban on prohibiting sale of domestic oil was repealed (and signed by Barack Obama) the race was on to drill and sell more oil, compete with OPEC and if the market began plunging due to economic downturn (a given) the oil behemoths can always stick it to the American consumers (who else)? 

With this current administration and one-party control there is virtually no incentive to develop and reward alternative energy sources or invest in R&D. Such development would benefit not only financially-struggling American consumers, but such eco-friendly technology would help the world leaders confront global warming and its consequences which are being felt today.

The same is true for transportation which, if the U.S. had a forward-looking administration, high-speed trains using existing maglev rail systems, would benefit everyone -- except the ExxonMobil shareholders. 

Unfortunately, the tunnel-vision troglodytes are winning this round and it may be decades before the U.S. once again joins the civilized nations in the development of efficient, clean energy for the future. By then, we may well have more of our citizens living in poverty while the rest of the advanced world looks on with sympathy and sadness at a once-great nation which was a shining beacon that collapsed ignominiously into a Third World country. 

 

What are you talking about?  

No incentive for renewables?  Plenty of states have set timetables for being carbon neutral with 100% renewable energy.  There is always demand for more efficient solar panels and wind turbines, both globally and domestically.  There is plenty of pent up demand for affordable EVs (just look at the Model 3 pre-orders).  The solar subsidies were set to end in 2016 but Trump extended that to 2022.  The EV tax credit was kept when Trump cut taxes.  In addition, that 21% corporate tax rate applies to green companies as well.

I live in California and would love a high speed rail!  The citizens of California voted for one in 2008.  Unfortunately, it is overbudget and behind schedule, like most infrastructure projects in California.  I wish we hired a Chinese or Japanese maglev company to build it rather than have it be slowly administered by the incompetent elected leaders of this state.  

Trump campaigned on infrastructure, calling our airports third world compared to other countries (he's right!).  Trump wants an infrastructure bill, but the 4 stooges (Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Charles Schumer) won't send him an infrastructure bill to sign.  Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama had 24 years to build infrastructure projects, but now our aging infrastructure is all Trump's fault?  Delusional!  

As for competing with OPEC, what's wrong with that?  Without U.S. oil production, emerging markets like Brazil and India would be suffering even more.  You would rather have the U.S. stop the "Drill baby, drill!" mantra and cede that market share to OPEC and Russia?  

 

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(edited)

I'm like to be in these posts, Oil is going to run out, but later than sooner, and even if it runs out you can make it from scratch, remember, oil isn't made from dead animals, is made generally from bacteria, plants, and other kind of stuff that has being compressed and ruing million of years, an micro-algae pond can make 1000's of barrels of oil each year per hectare, multiply that by billions of years and then multiply by the huge surfaces of sedimentary kerogenic basins

The fact is that while the mankind it will have a Peak Crude (Saudi Arabia is likely going to run out of crude in 2035 to 2055) isn't going to have peak oil or gas in the next 1000's of years because we used a part of what did it formed, we use the oil formed mostly in the late cretaceous (66 Million years ago) to the most of the Paleogene and Neogene

But there's hidden oil in huge amounts thatcan go as back as the Huronian, there's a good chunk that says that While the Permian period shale reserves in Russia are 1.8 to 2.3 trillion barrels the Reserves that go down to the Huronian could be as much as 76 trillion barrels, it would not be surpriging that the US, Canada, Russia, Argentina, Australia all have reserver well into the 10's of trillion since they formed arround the same time

And Natural Gas is a renewable resource, there's known methane hydrates to supply mankind for like 4000 or 5000 years, Methanogenesis bacteria process stuff into methane, and that gets trapped into ice, if it gets trapped long enough, it can become oil, the planet is not  only the biggest nuclear reactor, but also the biggest "refinery" or Gas to liquids plant.

The truth is, Countries do not have good efficiencies until they don't develop, a lot of people only know a source of energy, cut down trees, and burning them, when they get access to LPG they can be more productive, and will consider buying a heat pump instead of a gas heater, since heat pumps move the heat, they have -relative- efficiencies of 400% while the gas heater hardly get into 40%,  and with abundant energy likely they will have the wages and energy to produce a lot of stuff and consider buying electrical more efficient stuff

after-all even if the electricity is generated by fossil fuels, modern gas turbines can output up to 67% efficiency, someday the oil consumption will drop, but that's not until well entered in the 2100's

In various countries in Africa and Asia while reliable renewable resources (Geothermal, Hydro, Tidal) can generate a good chunk of electricity, they are not going to generate all of energy.

African countries will likely have an average energy consumption of 3000W/Annum, of which likely 2000W/annum will be fossil fuels, so thats around 11 barrels per person per year, with a likely population in 2090 of 4.5 billion persons it will be (likely) 49,852,000,000 oil equivalent barrels a year or 136,580,821 oil equivalent barrels per year, so there you go.

Edited by Sebastian Meana
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Switzerland will get bombed by the Big Oil... :) 

US introduced legislation to make cars more fuel-efficient. Result? Bigger cars and Ford closing sedans production. Last thing I would worry is about government doing something right.

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Interesting proposal; our fuel use needs more consideration in the petroleum supply/demand equation.  Too bad Big Oil has too much lobbying power to allow this to proceed. 

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On 6/20/2018 at 4:16 AM, HermitMunster said:

We tried building a bullet train. It failed. Our infrastructure is a joke.

With respect, I don't think anyone expects Americans to park our cars and get on the train, hence just one of the reasons high speed bullet trains fail to materialize in the U.S.  Lots of people who think we should build them for the environment, blah, blah, blah, apparently live in a dream world.  Yes, the environmental benefits are there and provable, but Americans by and large can't be bothered with them.  Amtrak is not a failure just because it's not efficient.

In any case, Jan's scenario is about business/cargo transport more than anything.  That is a sector that lobbies the government and keeps the pressure on.  Automobile savings are just an added benefit in his scenario, not the driver.  AND, he repeats over and over that it will take the will of powerful people in Washington to get off the ground.  The Donald has proven, and continues to prove, that he is rather unpredictable about what he will put his weight behind and push through.  Might not happen, but to Jan's point, it could.  In fact, take Jan's scenario and implement just 25% of it over the next 10 years and let the dominoes fall as they may.

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