What Would Happen If the World Ran Out of Crude Oil?

Don't mind me, I'm just gently poking the "Keep Oil & Gas In The Ground" hater crowd for some amusement this morning.

AOC and ilk please do feel free to over-react in a Chicken Little apocalypic frenzy of hyperbolic panic, I could use the laugh.

Global Oil & Gas is simply not going away any time soon, regardless of what the Mainstream Media and the Oil & Gas hater mob screechingly insist to the contrary.

e.g. ZOMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! 
HYDROCARBONS WILL KILL THE PLANET IN 12 YEARS! !  
ELEVENTY ! ! ! !

Anyway, back to reality, the global demand trend for Oil & Gas continues to steadily grow year after year after year.

Decades from now, Oil & Gas are very likely to remain a primary source of global energy and global raw materials for chemicals.

Jump up and down and yell and froth at the mouth if you feel so inclined (I tend to find it amusing) but that over-reaction simply does not change the fact that the world - for the forseeable future - primarily runs on HYDROCARBONS. 

Just my opinion; as always, you are free to disagree.

 

What Would Happen If the World Ran Out of Crude Oil?

Crude oil is the lifeblood of modern economies and nations, but what would happen if this vital fuel source were to ever be exhausted?

Needless to say, it would be a pretty serious event. But is it a realistic scenario for the future? 

Let's find out.  ...

  • Like 6
  • Great Response! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say we have around 53 years before we find out 😊

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Anyway, back to reality, the global demand trend for Oil & Gas continues to steadily grow year after year after year.

Two realities:

Fertility rates globally are declining. Mexico's went 'below replacement' two years ago. It now joins the other countries in North America, Europe, Central Asia, and the Far East, although the 1.9 rate in Mexico is nowhere near as severe as the .98 in South Korea. Building height has a roughly inverted relationship to fertility rates, the higher the buildings the lower the birthrate. 'Urban Core' areas of China are far lower than the rural areas. India's rate overall is still positive, but is 'mildly' below replacement in Delhi and the southern provinces. Countries that want more babies will have to stop building high-rise residential blocks.

Every year more and more is learned about how to synthesize organic molecules. Like semiconductors, these lessons cross feed - if it is possible to make smaller device geometries it is possible to make more efficient and more compact power semiconductors. If one can make purer silicon at lower cost then one can improve yield on wafers. The multi-pronged approach with organic molecules is focused on replacing 'chemical' plants with 'biological' plants - can we 'grow' a hydrocarbon in a vat of algae instead of refining it out of crude? Is there a process that runs at room temperature instead of requiring heating or other forms of thermal management? Can we reduce our feedstock to CO2 extracted out of the air combined with electricity, rather than starting with mineral or plant based inputs?

The point of the first 'reality' is that shrinking populations reduce demand. The second reality speaks for itself.

Anyone that looks at the diesel pumps in their local gas station sees placards that notify users that some percentage of the diesel is 'green', meaning that it isn't from 'mineral' origins. Oil refiners already know how to make it, and one point of adding it to the mix is to build up experience with the processes. One reason oil refiners are a bit coy about what they're doing is that they don't want to upset the 'mineral interest' rights holders.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

Tom,

At some point oil and natural gas output will peak and prices will likely rise, then people find alternatives and as more of the alternatives are produced, economies of scale cause the price of alternatives to fall, eventually this will lead to a lack of demand for oil and natural gas and they will decline steeply in output as they lose their scale advantage and much of the resource will be stranded as nobody will be able to produce it at a profit.  The entire argument rests on economics alone.

Even those who refuse to accept mainstream scientific understanding of geophysics can be assured that mainstream neoclassical economics suggests this may be the case.  Much of the petrochemical industry exists because of the cheap inputs that exist due to by products from the petroleum industry, those inputs will also become expensive as petroleum output declines and substitutes may be found.  Air and water transport will continue to need petroleum, as well as farm equipment so it is likely there will be some demand for oil and natural gas for quite some time, but high prices might lead to substitution in these areas as well.  It will take decades before most land transport uses of oil are eliminated, for most air and water transport perhaps 50 years or more, much depends on price relative to alternatives, impossible to model.

Edited by D Coyne
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Justin Hicks said:

I'd say we have around 53 years before we find out 😊

The oil does not "run out", we simply reach a point where maximum output occurs and then oil prices rise, this likely will be around 2025 in my opinion, by 2030 oil demand may start to fall faster than oil supply and oil prices may start to decrease to balance supply and demand for oil so that supply falls at the same rate as demand. 

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

I think that's what Russia is waiting for, severe oil shortages. With the huge expanse of land that is Russia there has to be lots more oil they haven't pumped or found. A road to $ trillions is simply patience. Minerals as well.

But if we run out the electric car gets more popular, sooner. And oil from algae gets more cost effective.

Edited by Abe Gold
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, D Coyne said:

The oil does not "run out", we simply reach a point where maximum output occurs and then oil prices rise, this likely will be around 2025 in my opinion, by 2030 oil demand may start to fall faster than oil supply and oil prices may start to decrease to balance supply and demand for oil so that supply falls at the same rate as demand. 

 I dont believe there will ever be an oil supply issue unless it is man made. Geopoitical/collusion/antitrust/war/etc. When EV growth starts cutting into oil demand the market will adjust at some point with less drilling. Seems reasonable? And if they cut to much prices will jump and rigs will be added. Seem normal? 

For some of us the discussion is the timeline and scale of the oil market after 2025-2035. There are so many variables only time will tell.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

Fossil fuels are useful because of the simple expedient that no where else in (chemical) nature do we get such a concentration of energy. A typical barrel of oil is equal to 6 million BTU. Yep, I know Wikipedia says different, but what oil at what API are they talking about? Meanwhile a bbl of ethanol is around 3.3 million BTU'S. Gasoline? About 5.2 million and diesel about 5.8 million BTU'S, diesel roughly equal to what wiki says a barrel of crude has. Biodiesel should be equal to diesel but it's closer in energy content to gasoline. When you start talking watts things really change especially when you talk amp hours in a (chemical) battery. 

Dilbert seems to have built a nuclear reactor that cleanly powers a small city for s dollar a day, but unfortunately he's a cartoon character in an imaginary world. Unfortunately we have politicians who likewise seem to live in an imaginary world where the laws of physics don't apply. I'm not the one who keeps voting them into office but I'm suspecting their constituency isn't made up of Mensa candidates. 

Edited by Ward Smith
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ward Smith said:

 

Dilbert seems to have built a nuclear reactor that cleanly powers a small city for s dollar a day, but unfortunately he's a cartoon character in an imaginary world. Unfortunately we have politicians who likewise seem to live in an imaginary world where the laws of physics don't apply. I'm not the one who keeps voting them into office but I'm suspecting their constituency isn't made up of Mensa candidates. 

Ward, it is not only politicians that are remarkably bereft of a clear foundation in physics.  The lack of physics education is a uniform experience, and is just appalling.  OK, getting past that, you never want to underestimate either the advances of technology nor the ingenuity of really smart people.  I can see marine transport going to packaged nuke reactors, just as the US Navy is already there. I can see small modular nukes in each town, doing their thing.  As for road transport, I would predict flywheels before batteries, as flywheels are very fast charging and can hold a charge for months, spinning in a vacuum case. I can see trucks with re-charge lanes, via either magnetic couplings in the pavement as you drive over, or with overhead sliders fitted with carbon contact points to pick up from stretches of overhead wire, especially handy on uphill grades, with direct coupling to the motors. 

I n also foresee liquid fuels, and plastics feedstocks, manufactured by extracted CO2 and H2O in a catalyst.  I can also see opening up all the landfills and using the contents to generate liquid fuels, again by clever catalytic reactions in a large vat. It is all out there, and really smart guys are going to make it all commercially feasible.  Oil pumped from the earth?  Sure, why not, as long as it is cheap enough.  When that gets pricey, the brains will kick into gear.  Always been that way. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 4/8/2019 at 9:50 PM, Abe Gold said:

I think that's what Russia is waiting for, severe oil shortages. With the huge expanse of land that is Russia there has to be lots more oil they haven't pumped or found. A road to $ trillions is simply patience. Minerals as well.

But if we run out the electric car gets more popular, sooner. And oil from algae gets more cost effective.

Russia's actually not waiting, it's pumping. And it's far from the only country with a lot of yet untapped oil and gas. China wants to have a shale revolution, Brazil's opening up billions of barrels, then there's new-frontier Africa and Guyana, and Canada...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

Genius scientist AOC will save us all, I am not worried one bit if we run out of Oil. 😎

Edited by Bobby P
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starvation, but Oil/Gas going nowhere for 100 years and then still be the primary lubricant.   

  • Like 3
  • Great Response! 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

On 4/7/2019 at 9:28 PM, Justin Hicks said:

I'd say we have around 53 years before we find out 😊

Not if we use the natural gas and biogas. It is much more abundant and cleaner. Also less expensive. I would guess we have closer to 200 years of fossil fuels including oil, natural gas, propane etc.  200 years ago was 1819 and we have made a lof of scientific progress since then so I think solar, wind, ethanol, geothermal, etc. will have greatly improved or been surpassed by other technology. Maybe thorium plants will become a reality. 

Edited by ronwagn
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When peak demand is reached ( at somewhere between 100 and 125 million bbls per day?) the left wing press, most of which are quite poor in math, will declare it's over, without realizing we still need to come up with over 100 million bbls per day, in the presence of a huge decline rate in the US shale business. I don't think peak demand is a scary thought at all. We'll have a fun enough time to replace declining reserves. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Oil Dude said:

When peak demand is reached ( at somewhere between 100 and 125 million bbls per day?) the left wing press, most of which are quite poor in math, will declare it's over, without realizing we still need to come up with over 100 million bbls per day, in the presence of a huge decline rate in the US shale business. I don't think peak demand is a scary thought at all. We'll have a fun enough time to replace declining reserves. 

Journalists in general are not very smart, they never studied science or engineering. So, they have no technical knowledge. They are only good at spreading fake news. 

  • Great Response! 1
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Bobby P said:

Journalists in general are not very smart, they never studied science or engineering. So, they have no technical knowledge. They are only good at spreading fake news. 

What is all this HATRED ALL ABOUT??!!

Putting @Bobby P on the naughty list.

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the world ran out of oil, it would be a good thing (sarcasm), the climate change will end and the earth will survive , only downside is the population of people wont LOL !!!

  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Rodent said:

What is all this HATRED ALL ABOUT??!!

Putting @Bobby P on the naughty list.

Okay fine, I will stop being a racist, xenophobe, extreme right wing, alt-right, etc, etc.

  • Great Response! 1
  • Haha 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 4/8/2019 at 12:25 PM, D Coyne said:

The oil does not "run out", we simply reach a point where maximum output occurs and then oil prices rise, this likely will be around 2025 in my opinion, by 2030 oil demand may start to fall faster than oil supply and oil prices may start to decrease to balance supply and demand for oil so that supply falls at the same rate as demand. 

I believe we'll reach a point where the extraction costs far outweigh the recovery( pretty much like it is now only on a little bigger scale)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Justin Hicks said:

I believe we'll reach a point where the extraction costs far outweigh the recovery( pretty much like it is now only on a little bigger scale)

The extractions and recovery costs and prior to that the costs of exploration and discovery will also lower on a larger scale as well............. technology is not static........ everyday new technologies are under R&D and using existing, new and emerging technologies and applying them to all aspects of the hydrocarbons finding and production cycle will lower the costs. Some years ago, no one would have thought of

recovering and producing oil and gas from a very thin payzone 15-10ft or narrower, now it is happening, same thing with the tight oil and gas,  each cycle there is an improvement and cost reduction. It takes time, but the technologies are in the pipeline and the application of existing technologies from other branches also help create a suite of technologies that help.

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Ward, it is not only politicians that are remarkably bereft of a clear foundation in physics.  The lack of physics education is a uniform experience, and is just appalling.  OK, getting past that, you never want to underestimate either the advances of technology nor the ingenuity of really smart people.  I can see marine transport going to packaged nuke reactors, just as the US Navy is already there. I can see small modular nukes in each town, doing their thing.  As for road transport, I would predict flywheels before batteries, as flywheels are very fast charging and can hold a charge for months, spinning in a vacuum case. I can see trucks with re-charge lanes, via either magnetic couplings in the pavement as you drive over, or with overhead sliders fitted with carbon contact points to pick up from stretches of overhead wire, especially handy on uphill grades, with direct coupling to the motors. 

I n also foresee liquid fuels, and plastics feedstocks, manufactured by extracted CO2 and H2O in a catalyst.  I can also see opening up all the landfills and using the contents to generate liquid fuels, again by clever catalytic reactions in a large vat. It is all out there, and really smart guys are going to make it all commercially feasible.  Oil pumped from the earth?  Sure, why not, as long as it is cheap enough.  When that gets pricey, the brains will kick into gear.  Always been that way. 

STEM education in the USA is weak and is getting worse.  Even more frightening is this rise in anti-intellectualism where the university educated are being blamed for problems and ridiculous conspiracy theories are running rampant.

Both a coal miner and a physician have a vote, doesn't mean we should necessarily listen to them equally.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 
 
 
On 4/7/2019 at 7:32 PM, Tom Kirkman said:

 

What Would Happen If the World Ran Out of Crude Oil?

Crude oil is the lifeblood of modern economies and nations, but what would happen if this vital fuel source were to ever be exhausted?

Needless to say, it would be a pretty serious event. But is it a realistic scenario for the future? 

Let's find out.  ...

I don't think we will run out. I predict that the electric car will drop the demand for oil significantly in the next 10 years. This will mostly be led in China and India where the pollution is killing people. Just like they got to skip analog cell phones in many places -they will be skipping a large part of the gasoline vehicle stage of progress.

I predict we will see LNG become a large fuel for the shipping industry in the near future as well.

The world will not run out of oil -it just won't be needed.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Jeff_Calgary said:

I don't think we will run out. I predict that the electric car will drop the demand for oil significantly in the next 10 years. This will mostly be led in China and India where the pollution is killing people. Just like they got to skip analog cell phones in many places -they will be skipping a large part of the gasoline vehicle stage of progress.

I predict we will see LNG become a large fuel for the shipping industry in the near future as well.

The world will not run out of oil -it just won't be needed.

No drop in oil demand from India for atleast a decade to come. They have a lot of gasoline and diesel vehicles already and it will keep on growing. First India needs to keep their power on 24X7 before they can have mass use of electric cars, or they will have traffic jams not seen anywhere else in the world!!!

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, ceo_energemsier said:

No drop in oil demand from India for atleast a decade to come. They have a lot of gasoline and diesel vehicles already and it will keep on growing. First India needs to keep their power on 24X7 before they can have mass use of electric cars, or they will have traffic jams not seen anywhere else in the world!!!

......................... majority of the population doesnt even have clean , safe drinking water, not enough nutrition, no proper safe sanitation ....

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The global economy 'moved to oil' at the beginning of the 20th century. Spindletop, the event that ushered in the oil-dependent economy, occurred in 1901. Prior to that oil production was incidental in the bigger picture, and coal drove most industry.

Coal, in turn, only became a big driver in the industrial economy from the 1820's onward. Prior to that most steam power was fired by wood, and most global transportation was wind powered (sailing ships). Of course, the global population at the time was 1/8th what it is now.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites