I read an interesting article on the Gulf oil production moratorium, written by a Jeffrey Rubin – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-rubin/a-moratorium-on-supply-gr_b_596099.html
Unfortunately, this moratorium will kill our already bleak chances at maintaining an adequate oil supply in the near future. The oil industry has been betting heavily on deep water drilling. It may be difficult to keep a balanced perspective with recent events in the Gulf of Mexico, but the United States absolutely needs more offshore drilling. Without it, global oil production will almost certainly decline from the current 85 million barrels/day. The effects of this decline will be disastrous.
The United States should continue offshore drilling and expand it for the following reasons:
- World oil production has been stagnant since 2005
- Many of the biggest fields in the world are seeing production declines
- New oil is not being found quickly enough to replace lost production
- Much of the potential to replace lost production is found in deep-water drilling
- Much of the proven oil reserves are in the hands of government owned oil companies
- Emerging economies will be competing for a smaller supply of oil
- The end result of these trends is that oil prices will see a massive increase (probably by 2020)
- The economic effects of this on the United States will be severe
Drilling domestically is nothing more than a stopgap measure, to buy time until our economy gains a foothold in a post-petroleom world. In the long term, these are the advances society must make.
In the short term, the longer we can postpone a decline in world oil production, the better off everyone will be. The economy has enough problems right now without adding another one.
Daily World Oil Production (in millions of barrels/day): 2000-2008
2 quick points to those who argue that stagnant production is due to world economic conditions:
1) World oil production began stagnating in 2005, when the world economy was solidly expanding.
2) This graph does not even take the Great Recession into account (data stops in early 2008)
This graph can be found at http://www.politics.ie/environment/81985-eddie-hobbs-we-now-peak-oil-19.html
“We’re on the peak oil plateau, so claims that “oil production is not falling” rather miss the point. I’m not sure why people outside the industry claim we’re not at peak oil, because it’s accepted within the industry. The question is how long the plateau lasts.”