Petra + Oleum

A rarest combination Greek + Latin word its self is going to be rarely heard on this planet. Its exact birth year is tentative, but it is believed that primitive man might have used torches made from pieces of wood dipped in oil for lighting as early as 20,000 B.C. At around 5,000 B.C., the Chinese apparently found oil when they were digging underground and from then they used to drill down as much as 3,500 ft (1,067 m) using rudimentary bamboo poles in the areas where oil seeps were visible at the surface of the earth.

True exploration for petroleum began in the 18th century. The world’s first commercial oil well was drilled in Poland in 1853. Once it was perceived that oil is viable as fuel its exploration took the path of enumeration and economics. In 1908, the present gigantic company BP (British Petroleum) was born with the discovery of goliath oil fields in the Middle East. For the next 30 years the oil demand ameliorated along with several oil and gas companies.

Oil demand is distributed amongst four broad sectors: transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial. Transportation is the largest sector and it has seen humongous growth in demand in recent decades along with highest consumption rates, approximately 55% of oil used worldwide. It is an inevasible game which we have to play but now with other resources rather than petrol to mitigate the effects of peak oil (the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached and after which the rate of production enters terminal decline).

The production capacity is the main limitation of supply. Therefore, when production decreases, it becomes the main bottleneck to the petroleum supply/ demand equation.

Worldwide oil discoveries have been less than annual production since 1980. According to several sources, worldwide petroleum production is past or near its almost dead. World population has grown faster than oil production. The United States Census Bureau predicts that the world population in 2030 will be almost double that of 1980. Author Matt Savinar predicts that oil production in 2030 will have declined back to 1980 levels as worldwide demand for oil significantly out-paces production.

The oil supply is classified into two sectors. OPEC supply and world oil supply. OPEC ORGANIZATION OF PETROLEUM EXPORTING COMPANIES) is a union of 12 most oil producing countries Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

As per the present statistics OPEC has produced 29.5 million barrels / day till the first quarter of 2011 and the rest of the world has produced 88.3 million barrels/ day. So the total production comes up to 117.8 million barrels / day which is higher than the present world oil demand rate i.e 91.7 million barrels / day. But the day is not far where the demand will surpass the supply.

Encouragement of organizations such as The International Energy Agency (A Paris based autonomous intergovernmental organization which promotes alternate energy sources) would help us to avoid seeing the day where petroleum will be a mystery and preventing the day where it is treated as a history.

Bharat Chand