The world has more oil, not less

By Alan Caruba
web posted October 16, 2000

The truth about oil is that the world has more, not less, waiting to be discovered, extracted, and used to the benefit of mankind.

Why, then, are we being told that we have to cut back consumption? The answer is political, not geological. Even a casual look at the UN Kyoto Climate Control Treaty reveals the economic devastation that would occur if this nation and other industrialized nations were forced to cut back to 1990 levels of energy use. Under the Kyoto UN Treaty, economists warn that gasoline prices would rise far higher than they are today. Electricity costs would increase anywhere between 20 percent and 86 percent. The cost of natural gas would rise between 20 percent and 148 percent.

Al GoreThe leading advocate for the UN Climate Control Treaty is Vice President Al Gore. Even if one were to ignore the questions regarding his truthfulness, his environmental dementia, if he were elected, would initiate a worldwide economic Depression.

Globally, we need more energy, not less. The good news is, if you factor in coal as the primary source of the generation of electricity, you're actually looking at not just hundreds, but thousands of years of electrical power.

Coal is so abundant it is measured in the thousands of years of use. Abundant electrical power will free Third World nations from their poverty. It will benefit the lives of millions who are denuding the forests of their nations for fuel to cook dinner! There is no truth to the reports that the Earth is running out of oil.

In 1973, an oil field was discovered off the coast of Louisiana in a deep area of the Gulf of Mexico. By 1989, oil production had trickled down to a daily output of only 4,000 barrels. Then, to the surprise and delight of the PennzEnergy Company, the Eugene Island field began to pump 13,000 barrels a day. Geologists tested the new crude and discovered it was a completely different geological age than the original oil of ten years earlier!

Now petroleum scientists are beginning to believe there is a whole new oil supply streaming from a vast source many miles below the surface of the Earth. The ramifications of this are obvious. There is a lot of oil as yet undiscovered and untapped.

This phenomenon explains why Middle East oil reserves doubled since the 1980's, currently estimated to be about two thirds of a trillion barrels. A Cornell University professor emeritus, Thomas Gold, believes that oil is manufactured deep in the earth under extreme pressure and heat. As it interacts with bacteria, it oozes up to the surface, appearing to be prehistoric, but actually "new" in geological terms.

The latest figures set the "proven crude oil reserves" of the Middle East at about 686.4 thousand million barrels. Saudi Arabia sits on top of 26l.5 thousand million. Kuwait has 112.5 thousand million. The estimates of the untapped crude in Alaska are set at about 16 billion barrels. The area involved is one tenth of one percent of the entire area of the State. Are you really so worried about some caribou, grizzly bears, and rabbits that you aren't willing to tap into a tiny part of that huge reserve?

On a Royal Dutch/Shell Group floating platform a hundred miles off the coast ofLouisiana where oil production wasn't even feasible a few years ago, there are estimates of 100 billion barrels of untapped crude oil. At this point, 40 billion barrels have already been discovered in deep waters worldwide from West Africa to Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico. In the Gulf of Mexico alone, production could rise at as much as 1.8 million barrels a day by 2001. This is double the 1995 level and roughly equal to the daily output of Kuwait.

So, do you still think we're running out of oil? The simple arithmetic of oil production is that we keep finding more and more of it.

My friend, Robert L. Bradley, Jr., the director of the Institute for Energy Research, recently authored "Julian Simon and the Triumph of Energy Sustainability." It puts the skids to all the crisis talk and lies environmentalists have spread about "sustainability." That is a Green code word for shutting down any progress toward providing even more abundant (and needed) energy for a world that is being brought together by the Internet and other means of communication and transportation.

"All environmental indicators concerning the use of hydrocarbons-whether they involve land use, spillage, wastage or combustion-are demonstrating positive trends and in many cases exceeding expectations," says Bradley. "Consumers are embracing multiple new uses of energy in transportation and stationary markets. Risk management opportunities and mass customization of energy products are multiplying. Safety and productivity are improving throughout these industries. All these trends appear to be open-ended."

That's how the prospects for more oil stand now, open-ended. Since the manufactured crisis of the 1970's, we have found billions more barrels of oil. More is yet to be found in this decade and beyond, waiting to ooze up to the surface where it can be accessed for future generations.

Right now, our own and other governments around the world that do not invest in its discovery, its extraction, its transportation, it refining or in its sale, other than to impose taxes on every stage are extorting more money than even the profits made by oil companies. If, however, the marketplace was allowed to determine a fair price, there will be sufficient oil, sufficient natural gas, and more than sufficient coal to power a period of unparalleled worldwide prosperity. It would also cost the consumer far less.

Alan Caruba is a veteran science and business writer. He is the founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policies. The Center maintains an Internet site at http://www.anxietycenter.com.

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