The development of science has been accelerating the process of industrialization and modernization in various countries around the world, which led to the increasing demand for energy in daily life and in industries. This essay argues that oil will remain one of the major sources of energy because huge reserves worldwide and high production rate keep it balanced, technologies greatly contribute to efficiency and oil proves to be more economical than other sources of alternatives.
The first reason why I agree on relying on oil as one main energy source is its reserves all over the world. According to US Energy Information Administration 2012 International Energy Statistics, proven world oil reserves stood at 1,525,957 billion barrels approximately. Along with this figure, the average production rate of oil in 2012 was about 89,7 million barrels per day (mbpd), compared to 88,9 mbpd of oil consumption. It is estimated that in the next few years world oil consumption will increase by an average of 0,9 mbpd per annum, reaching 91,6 mbpd in 2015, when production rises to 92,0 mbpd. Due to world’s demand, these 2 figures are bound to steadily, with consumption being 108,5 mbpd and supply being 108,7 mbpd in 2035, predicted by OPEC experts. Accordingly, there will not be a running-out-of-oil period at least in the next 30 years.
Another factor contributing to the long-term reliability of oil is technology. Lately, revolutionarily technological achievements have been applied to oil discovering, extraction and recovery process, which improved the efficiency of oil production as well as lengthened the duration of the Age of Oil. Among the innovational drilling methods, there are 3 advanced ones that stand out. The first one, Directional Drilling, basically makes a vertical drill from the top into the wellbore; and the real-time information provided by the microchips and sensors attached to the drill have shown high accuracy. Horizontal drilling cuts straight through the middle of the oil field, giving an approximate 10 times productivity more than conventional wells. The most advanced method now being operated is 4-D Seismic Drilling, proving efficient by providing clear computer-based pictures of underground situation, which greatly contributes to the discovery of potential oil deposit. Apart from the commonly used primary and secondary recovery method, which are based on mechanical force to extract oil, the main technologies that are currently used to extract and recover oil are called the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies, to name some: Gas injection, Plasma-Pulse, Miscible Solvents... Take Oman, the largest non-OPEC oil and natural gas producer in the Middle East, as an example. In 2000, Oman’s average crude oil production peak was 970,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), but this figure strongly declined by one fourth to 710,000 bbl/d in 2007. Then thanks to EOR technologies, Oman was able to stop the decline and hit back to 919,000 bbl/d in 2012.