Do you think running out of oil and gas resources is an option to be considered? If it is your thought that yes oil and gas will really run out, then think again.
The Economic systems and key driver of global civilization currently depend on abundant and cheap energy sources.
Since the discovery of Oil in Nigeria by the then Shell D’Archy at Oliobiri in 1956, exploration and production of hydrocarbons to meet energy demands with higher demand due to increasing population and economy of the country has improved.
Due to the immense contribution of Oil and Gas to the Economy, Nigeria became a mono-economy which depends more on oil and thereby neglecting other sectors which would have added more to the GDP of the nation.
The major form of energy has been generated from fossil fuel which has really helped in the demand for energy but has also contributed negatively to the environment.
The major forms of fossil fuels are coal, oil and gas which are Non-Renewable.
Exploiting Oil in large quantities has become possible due to simple nature of the resources, and also the technology available but there has become more demand for oil and gas whereby the population is growing alongside with it and definitely there will be an advancement in technology in the future due to increase in research and development which is R&D Department and also students can also make impacts.
Conventional Resources has made the oil and gas industry operations easy due to economic methods to extract the resources from the reservoir due to its simple nature and a complete petroleum system.
Conventional resources have really made the oil and gas industry to gain access to petroleum reservoirs easily and in large quantities too.
Furthermore, Unconventional resources which are too costly to be produced or extracted due to their complex nature also having an incomplete petroleum system includes shale oil, shale gas, tar sands, heavy oil, tight gas, coal bed methane, methane hydrates etc.
Massive accumulations of resources that are yet to be tapped are Heavy oil with the largest accumulations found in Canada and Venezuela. Heavy oil is a very good source of energy although it is expensive to process.
Coalbed Methane (CBM) Hydrate which is methane that formed along with coal and it is absorbed into the surfaces of the coal.
Methane hydrates are possibly the largest source of unconventional gas in the world and are located beneath the seafloor in water depths greater than 300metres where water temperatures are around 36degrees Fahrenheit.
Methane hydrates are the ice-like structure which has gas majorly methane gas trapped in them and they majorly found in polar regions or cold regions.
When these hydrates are extracted from the seafloor through drilling means whereby hydrates inhibitors are used to avoid the coating of hydrates on the drilling strings which may result to drilling difficulties are taken for processing where the methane gas is extracted and used for domestic and industrial processes.
Unconventional resources require unconventional methods to get gas or oil out of the source/reservoir rock and which were uneconomic.
With techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, cost reduction in horizontal drilling, it has become easy to produce economically.
When these unconventional resources and others yet to be discovered are added together, they total a tremendous amount of oil and gas in the world yet to be extracted and this amount does not include conventional oil and gas resources that may exist beneath largely in unexplored regions in the world.
From EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) which is the ratio of the amount of energy extracted versus the amount of energy put into the extraction process has shown that we will never really run out of Oil.
However, it will be too expensive for us to continue exploiting oil in large quantities.
Therefore, from the above statement from EROEI on oil and gas made things simpler but would be difficult in the future until there is a source of energy that can meet or beat human and industry demands.
In conclusion, from a Petroleum Technologist’s viewpoint on the exhaustion of oil and gas, oil and gas will still be available.
There may be things that can lead to the ultimate demise of the oil and gas industry over the coming decades but running out of oil and gas resource doesn’t appear to be an option.
So, you can have a rethink on the issue of running out of oil and gas/ resources and focus more on how to generate or increase the supply of energy to meet global needs at a cheaper and economic way.
I will like to connect with your thoughts on the comments section.
Oil and gas industry operations and markets by Duke University.
Physical Geology, 14th Edition by Plummer, Carlson, Hammersley, 2013.