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Hubbersts Peak - The impending world shortage on oil - Book review

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Introduction

Brian Lockyer Book review - Hubbert's Peak - The impending world shortage on oil. LCKBRI001 In the 1950s a geologist by the name of M.King Hubbert made a startling prediction that US oil production would peak in the early 1970s. At first, many people refused to believe him and it was only after a decline in crude oil production in the 1970s that people started taking more of an interest in Hubbert's ideas and theories and realized the importance of applying them to world oil production. Our oil reserves are fast being depleted thus posing a major crisis of epic proportions which unless the necessary action is taken to reduce our exploitation we may see the complete end of oil production in the near future. In his book, Hubbert highlights some ideas that may be effective in slowing down the impending world shortage of oil. These ideas range from the creation and implementation of new forms of technology, however, the profitability of the oil business far exceeds that of other investments and therefore many companies would be reluctant to invest in such schemes. ...read more.

Middle

The formation of oil is a very lengthy process that expands over millions of years. Oil is formed from the deposition and build up of organic material in areas with limited oxygen such as swamps, the organic material is buried deep underground and is therefore subjected to high temperatures and pressure which, over time, alters the chemical composition of the material and the consequent formation of oil. The lack of oxygen is a necessity in oil formation as organic material under the influence of oxygen would not be adequately preserved to form oil. Oil is not usually found in the same area in which it is formed. High temperatures, pressures and rock types affect the distribution of oil and allow oil to move through rocks. The porosity and permeability of carrier and reservoir beds are important factors in the migration and accumulation of oil. The migrating oil will eventually get trapped in areas known as 'oil traps'. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the words of Hubbert; 'have we reached our peak?' The question that most people will be asking is that of how long can we rely on oil as a form energy? In the last chapters of the book, Hubbert focuses on the need to look to the future and develop alternative energy sources. He lists geothermal energy, solar power, hydroelectricity, wind farms and even nuclear energy as possible alternatives. However, are these alternatives realistic? Can they replace our reliance on oil and cater for our ever increasing energy demands? We need to be far more efficient with our energy usage and there is a dire need to find ways to make energy cheaper and more readily available in the future. The impending world shortage of oil will have huge economic repercussions throughout the globe, oil is going to run out in the near future and unless action is taken now, we may be seeing a very different world in the future than the one we are living in now. ...read more.

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