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Gulf of Mexico oil platform
Chevron's Jack #2 offshore oil platform, similar to this rig, discovered oil some 27,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 200 miles off the coast of Louisana. The press lauded it as the answer to America's energy needs, but the reality is that it will be only a 'blip' in the context of the nation's energy demand, according to Dr. Bezdek.

The Approaching Liquid Fuel Crisis

Video from ASPO USA Peak Oil conference at Boston University in October 2006

By Roger Bezdek

The famous -- or infamous, depending on how you view the peak oil 'theory' -- Hirsch Report was the first federal gov't sponsored study to accept the notion that the world is consuming more oil than it's now finding, and that sooner or later, society is going to demand more oil than the planet can produce from both conventional and unconventional sources. When that happens, the economic consequences will be profound.

The co-author of the Hirsch Report, Dr. Roger Bezdek, spoke to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) USA conference in Boston, Massachusetts. His consulting group, MISI, has issued a sequel to the original Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation & Risk Management first published in 2005, entitled Economic Impacs of Liquid Fuel Mitigation Options. It was this second report that he highlighted during this Boston University presentation and which EV World was able to video tape.

Bezdek began his talk by showing a PowerPoint slide that showed the disparity between the amount of oil society is using and the amount industry is discovering; by some estimates we're using 3 to 4 barrels for every new one being discovered. That clearly portends a serious approaching crisis in conventional liquid fuels. What Bezdek and his co-authors attempted to do is identify various alternatives to replace a steadily growing gap between demand and production, and to understand what the economic implications and impact those "wedges", as they refer to them, are likely to have in the future.

He makes it very clear from the outset that even if peak oil is 15-20 years in the future, that is not nearly enough time to begin implementing the various options his group identified. Whereas the oil crises of the 70s were largely artificial and relatively quickly mitigated, the peak oil crisis of the near-to-mid-term future is likely to last for decades and will in all likelihood be the world's first 'forced' energy transition.

There is, Bezdek concludes, a silver lining to the crisis that includes the saving over twenty years of some 44 billion barrels of oil, 10 million new jobs created, total industry sales of $3 trillion, corporate profits of $125 billion, federal tax revenues of $500 billion and nearly $300 billion on state and local tax income.

Dr. Bezdek's PowerPoint presentation is available on the ASPO USA web site, so it probably would be helpful to view it as he speaks in the above video.

EV World expresses its gratitude to the conference organizers and ASPO USA for granting us permission to record the proceedings and make them available to our readers/listeners/viewers, as well as to Google for making available its data storage and bandwidth enabling us to provide selected video from the conference.

Times Article Viewed: 12986
Published: 12-Dec-2006

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