In a nutshell, by my review of the data it does not make sense, at least in the near term. New sources of oil in the Western Hemisphere will require massive amounts of capital, and long lead times for the accumulation of physical capital (rigs, processing plants, pipelines, etc.). Oil sands production will be limited by available water and gas resources, and oil shale production will be constrained by land use issues and environmental opposition. All of these sources of production will have low Energy Return on Energy Invested, meaning that there is little excess value to encourage investment, or to allow government support or taxation. (See my earlier post regarding EROIhttp://dougrobbins.blogspot.com/2011/09/energy-return-on-investment.html).
Posts written after this article considered other aspects of Peak Oil. In each, the Eastern Hemisphere shows potential from more future production than the Western Hemisphere. The Eastern Hemisphere shows greater potential for future oil discoveries; greater potential for increasing recovery from existing oil fields; and greater potential from discovered, but undeveloped new fields.
Peak Oil III: Forecasting Future Oil Discoveries:
Historical trends show that about 100 billion barrels of new reserves will be discovered in the Eastern Hemisphere by the year 2030, while only 67 billion barrels will be discovered in the Western Hemisphere.
Peak Oil IV: Recognition Lag and Reserve Growth
Mature giant oil fields in the United States have produced about 35% of original oil in place, and are approaching the technical limit of recovery. Globally, and particularly in the Middle East, giant oil fields have only produced about 22% of original oil in place. There is greater potential for reserve growth in the Eastern Hemisphere than the Western Hemisphere, as re-development, secondary and tertiary recovery methods are applied to these fields.
Peak Oil V: Discovered, Undeveloped Reserves in the Middle East
Production from the Middle East has been dominated by a small number of giant and supergiant fields. The large fields imply the existence of many smaller fields which have not yet been developed or produced. About 1300 fields without significant production are indicated in summary tables; these may contain about 300 billion barrels. Again, the advantage is to the Eastern Hemisphere.
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