GEO ExPro

A Huge Challenge

ExxonMobil has looked into a crystal ball. A major study has just been released in which we can experience an insight to our future use of energy, including fossil fuels as well as renewables (see story page 60). We take it for granted that their predictions are based on solid knowledge and therefore should be trusted as a guideline.
This article appeared in Vol. 4, No. 1 - 2007

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ExxonMobil has looked into a crystal ball. A major study has just been released in which we can experience an insight to our future use of energy, including fossil fuels as well as renewables (see story page 60). We take it for granted that their predictions are based on solid knowledge and therefore should be trusted as a guideline.
 
As seen on the graph, in 25 years time oil production will approach 120 million barrels per day, from conventional as well as unconventional sources, yet only a minute fraction of that will be what we may call environmentally friendly energy. By comparison, today’s oil production is about 86 million barrels per day. The gap is to be filled by geologists, geophysicists and engineers who will need to join forces to make new discoveries with new technology.

The good news is that the oil and gas industry has a bright future, with oil prices that will remain high and encourage further investments. In the Gulf of Mexico, for example, service companies and oil companies are stretching technology to the limit to uncover new plays and fields.

The bad news is 1) we are spending our precious fossil fuel resources faster than future generations will appreciate, and 2) the environmental impact is severe on both a local and global scale.

The study clearly demonstrates that the demand for energy will be much higher in countries that have a rapidly growing population, where using more energy will help increase the standard of living. If ExxonMobil’s predictions are to be proved wrong, it will not be sufficient for developed countries alone to use less energy.

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