What do we do when the oil runs low

  • Thread starter wolram
  • Start date

wolram

Gold Member
4,227
551
I guess this may have been discused before, but may be a review might be needed, for a start I have 2070 as the time when oil will not be easily accesable, so what do we do do when oil is so expensive no one can afford it, do we go down the path of mass transport? what about plastic it will be a vaued commodity, something we can hardly do without.
Whats your thinking, do you agree with the date stated?
 

OmCheeto

Gold Member
2,070
2,430
I consider myself lucky to be long dead by then.
That's my answer!

As for those that are not dead, ........
......
...
..........
I've got nothing.

{Except for; "My sincerest condolences. And thanks all the fish."}
 

strangerep

Science Advisor
3,000
792
I guess this may have been discused before, but may be a review might be needed, for a start I have 2070 as the time when oil will not be easily accesable, so what do we do do when oil is so expensive no one can afford it, do we go down the path of mass transport? what about plastic it will be a vaued commodity, something we can hardly do without.
Whats your thinking, do you agree with the date stated?
Carefully study the lyrics of the song When the River Runs Dry.

Also:
Frank Herbert of Dune said:
[...] conflict will ensue to determine who controls the wealth, or its equivalent.
 

pinball1970

Gold Member
609
548
50 years? Gosh, what Scientific advances would have been made by then? Sustainable energy will be common place so we will not need nor will we want to use fossil fuel again.
Edit, by then cosmologists will have come to the conclusion that the universe is most likely flat.
 
Last edited:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,973
5,136
Oil will never go away completely, it will just get more and more scarce and expensive. And as it does there will be spikes and plateaus and even a few drops along the way as the economics of production drive new methods of production that open-up new sources. The price spikes and rise of fracking in the late 2000s shows how that will go. And it may take many more decades before the price is high enough to be truly problematic, as there are known production methods that have vast capacities without especially burdensome costs. That includes tar-sand oil and coal conversion to oil, and there are probably others.

On the consumption side, economics and technical constraints will also combine to determine in what order the different sectors get off oil. It appears to me that cars and light/short-haul trucks will be first, relatively painlessly, in the next few decades. It will also disappear from electrical production relatively easily. Long-haul trucking, ships and airplanes will be the problematic ones, but I forsee it being many decades before it becomes a significant problem. Plastics, I'm not worried about at all. Many are recyclable, and beyond that many things that are currently made from plastic would be better quality if made from metal anyway.

In the late 2000s I was significantly concerned about Peak Oil, but for better or worse, it turns out to have been very wrong. So it's not something I think about anymore - and it has disappeared from the news, and is little-discussed on the internet anymore (websites dedicated to it have shut down for lack of traffic/value).
 

WWGD

Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,790
2,121
I consider myself lucky to be long dead by then.
Yes. Change the question to : What do _they do. Edit: My question is whether oil is still being "created" by buried fossils.
 

gleem

Science Advisor
Education Advisor
1,476
857
We still are pumping oil like we have no end to those reserves and we are suppose to have coal for another hundred years. Major energy companies are starting projects looking into renewable sources like hydrogen. There is some hope of making more complex molecules from CO2 using a process called electrosynthesis using electricity and catalysis'. However by 2050 if every thing goes as predicted we should have gotten the message that fossil fuel have been a problem and well underway to replacing their use.
 

chemisttree

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,045
45
I’m not sure you can consider hydrogen a fuel source. It should be thought of as an energy storage medium like a battery since there aren’t any terrestrial sources that can be mined.
 

WWGD

Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,790
2,121
Is new oil somehow being still created as a result of the death of animals, albeit at a glacial pace?
 

BWV

512
421
Is new oil somehow being still created as a result of the death of animals, albeit at a glacial pace?
Oil primarily (or entirely?) comes from anerobic decomposition of aquatic life, primarily plankton and algae
 

BWV

512
421
Oil in developed countries is entirely a transportation fuel which can be replaced by EVs over several decades. Still need an electricity source, but do not need petroleum.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,973
5,136
Is new oil somehow being still created as a result of the death of animals, albeit at a glacial pace?
Yes, but much, much slower than "galacial."
 

chemisttree

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,045
45
Oil in developed countries is entirely a transportation fuel which can be replaced by EVs over several decades. Still need an electricity source, but do not need petroleum.
Where do you get this stuff? Do not need petroleum?
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,973
5,136
Oil in developed countries is entirely a transportation fuel which can be replaced by EVs over several decades. Still need an electricity source, but do not need petroleum.
Ehh, can't go that far. The transition for cars will be relatively painless, but ships, long haul trucks and trains will be difficult and planes will be a really, really big problem.
 

BWV

512
421
Ehh, can't go that far. The transition for cars will be relatively painless, but ships, long haul trucks and trains will be difficult and planes will be a really, really big problem.
EV trucks and trains are solvable in the 50-70 year time frame, planes more difficult, but jet fuel is about 8% of US petroleum use. Personal cars are about 70% of petroleum consumption.

(see https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/oil-and-petroleum-products/use-of-oil.php)

Petrochemical feedstocks and most other uses on the list above can be replaced by natural gas
 

256bits

Gold Member
2,854
918
Ehh, can't go that far. The transition for cars will be relatively painless, but ships, long haul trucks and trains will be difficult and planes will be a really, really big problem.
Asphalt, shingles, earth moving equipment, farm machinery, ....
Sure we could all have concrete roads but then making concrete is energy demanding.
Cedar shingles are more expensive so that puts the initial price of most homes up, - that there is enough cedar is another question, which then means cutting down forests.
I don't see stringing high voltage electrical lines to remote areas, for temporary use as being economic or practical. And if one wants to produce electricity locally with generators, then the generators will run on a fuel.

Farmers working the land depend upon the weather - and one wants to work the land when the weather is good, not "waste" the good hours charging your tractor. Or we could go back to horses and thrashing the grain by hand, moving the population back from the cities to the rural.

Certainly a high energy dense fuel is needed is certain areas of the economy, and at a practical price.
 

BWV

512
421
Cedar is a renewable resource and a carbon sink, so yes can use as much as we like

current battery tech limits large vehicles but that is a solvable problem over a 50 year time frame. Additionally opportunities exist to replace large manned agriculture or industrial vehicles with small autonomous ones.

bitumin for asphault also occurs naturally so does not necessarily have to be extracted from refining crude, but this may not be economical. Roads in TX are cement for the most part as they hold up better in high temperatures, also reflects sunlight reducing the urban heat problem
 
Last edited:

pinball1970

Gold Member
609
548
Judging by predictions from the last millenium we already have them, together with colonies on most planets and cancer cure.
Glass half empty?
We don't have colonies but have probes on Mars and asteroids.
Not all cars are EV but we have some EV (check out the Nissan leaf) and hybrids
No 'cure' for all cancers but 5 year survival rates compared to the 60s and 70s are vastly improved.
 

BWV

512
421
No economic reason for humans in space so not a relevant comparison
 

chemisttree

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,045
45
Cedar is a renewable resource and a carbon sink, so yes can use as much as we like

current battery tech limits large vehicles but that is a solvable problem over a 50 year time frame. Additionally opportunities exist to replace large manned agriculture or industrial vehicles with small autonomous ones.

bitumin for asphault also occurs naturally so does not necessarily have to be extracted from refining crude, but this may not be economical. Roads in TX are cement for the most part as they hold up better in high temperatures, also reflects sunlight reducing the urban heat problem
Not the Texas where I live. Almost all of the roads in Texas are asphalt. Concrete is much more expensive than asphalt.
 

BWV

512
421
Not the Texas where I live. Almost all of the roads in Texas are asphalt. Concrete is much more expensive than asphalt.

in Houston and Dallas they are primarily concrete
 

wolram

Gold Member
4,227
551
Judging by predictions from the last millenium we already have them, together with colonies on most planets and cancer cure.
Yes some people think science can do more than it is able to, heck we were supposed to have hover cars by now.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"What do we do when the oil runs low" You must log in or register to reply here.

Related Threads for: What do we do when the oil runs low

Replies
23
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
41
Views
1K
Replies
38
Views
12K
Replies
91
Views
20K
Replies
22
Views
2K
Replies
76
Views
7K

Hot Threads

Top