Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Oil Price Closed Above $100 a Barrel; World Leaders Ignore this Signal of Impending Shortages

Oil Price Closed Above $100 a Barrel; World Leaders Ignore this Signal of Impending Shortages

Press release, The Oil Drum

The price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil closed above $100 for the first time on February 19, 2008. "Rising oil prices have been giving a clear signal of pending shortages for over five years now," according to TheOilDrum.com. By ignoring this signal, world leaders are steering the world toward an energy disaster characterized by shortages, high energy prices, inflation, civil unrest and famine.

The $100 a barrel closing price is a sign that times will never be the same again. "The world is entering a new era. In this new era, the supply of energy will dominate the political landscape in a way that is not being recognized by any of the presidential candidates," according to TheOilDrum.com.

In past years, newspapers and magazines have assured citizens that there is no problem with future oil supply. Articles have suggested that oil prices will be lower in the future; they may even collapse due to excess supply.

Recently, published articles have added some caveats. There is a need for increased investment, both for exploration and for improved production technologies. The media doesn't mention that rates of return on the new investments are likely to be very low. At some point, it will become economically unattractive to keep searching for very small quantities of oil and gas that are expensive to extract.

The problem that oil companies are encountering is that there is a finite number of oil reservoirs, and many of these have been producing for over fifty years. In time, a large part of the oil that was originally in place has been removed. The oil that comes out now, comes out slowly, and is often mixed a high proportion of water.

In order to keep production up, additional wells are drilled into the reservoir. At some point, the strategy of adding more wells to keep production up ceases to work. Oil production from a long -produced field begins to decline, no matter how many new wells are drilled.

(20 February 2008)

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