When will the oil be depleted?
This question is considered an important question for the issue we address here, because some answers of this question indicate that the oil will deplete after several tens of years, and there is no need to address this issue this time, and we know in advance that the depletion of oil won’t happen in the near future, and if the world consumption of oil continues in this manner, then oil won’t deplete before forty years. In a country like KSA, if production continues in its current rate, then oil won’t deplete before 70 years or more. But oil depletion is not the dangerous aspect, what is more dangerous is the misuse of oil.
The people have the right to live in dignity, but it is no secret that a lot of cultural mistakes have been committed in the past, and we still face these mistakes. What is the sense of moving towards horizontal building except extra expenses on roads and infrastructure? What is the sense of converting deserts into agricultural lands except food production with very high costs where it could be imported from abroad? In addition to losing large quantities of nonrenewable waters. Here comes the important point, there is no problem between reasonable people and oil except its negative effects on the environment. The problem is how the revenues of the oil are spent, as they used to and still say that: oil revenues should be spent in order to build a culture that is capable of surviving, and then using oil should be stopped to protect the environment. And oil revenues should not be spent on luxury culture that will end as soon as the oil deplete. When lot of people defend this cultural approach which has been proofed to be wrong , and when a lot of people believe that oil will deplete in this century which will be concurrent with water depletion, then we will not hesitate to ask this question and provide reasonable answers, because preparing for oil depletion should not start from tomorrow, but it should have been done many years ago. Switching from a cultural approach followed by thousands of millions of people to a different cultural approach is not that easy. And no one should think that, when twenty years remain before the depletion of oil and people start discussing the issue of oil depletion, then the solution of the problem would be easy. Thus, finding an easy solution for oil depletion problem would have been easy if that was done in the past. So the purpose here is to try to put forth the concept of finding an easy solution to the problem of oil depletion. The worrying issue of resources depletion: oil and water, is not the sayings “There is still a very long time before oil deplete” or “water depletion will be compensated by sweetened sea water” , but what worries all of us, is saying that “Do not open this subject , and enough” , and believe us, whoever says that in order to prevent the people from addressing the issue of resources depletion in the current time, would do so also in the future, and when the undesired consequences occur after resources depletion, then this person won’t take any responsibility for this. How would he take the responsibility of the breakdown of a complete culture and the extinction of a nation?
There still a long time before oil depletion, and it is possible to find a solution for the problem which will result after oil depletion, but the solution would be easy if we, both people and government, realized the problem of oil depletion at this time, and started to work now in order to avoid it, that is through creating a culture which is prepared for oil depletion. Even though there are requests and thesis from here and there, but we are still away from the right path.
The problem is not related to depletion only (peak oil)
it is closer to our minds, that the problem which is related to our fate which is connected to oil, will occur when the last barrels of oil are extracted, but the fact is very different. Once oil production reaches its peak in our countries, the phase of reduced production will start, which will be associated with a lot of cultural ,political, and probably military problems, because oil quantities at that time won’t suffice the world’s needs. If we say that oil depletion in the world will happen after forty years, and after 70 years in our country if production continues in this manner, this explicitly means that our countries will be forced to increase production in order to compensate reduced production in other countries, and this means faster depletion, which also means a faster reduction in production, and this force us to redo our calculations in a more careful way.
The expected problems are not just an imagination, but they represent an issue (oil peak) for which a lot of scientists and researchers dedicated a great part of their efforts and capacities to study its dimensions and warn the people and governments from the problems which are expected to happen when the oil production starts to decrease. If there are a lot of people who consider oil depletion as a problem which is related to their sons and grandsons, then the problem of oil peak will be closely related to us whether we accepted that or not.
The elements of this problem become complete when we know that the domestic consumption of oil increases continuously, and it will absorb all the external production in less than 25 years. And if we are depending on selling oil to other countries and buying what we need , then what will we sell if we consume our oil? Come on minds, think and light up the way for us.
What is our thesis?
A barren desert, no water and no rivers, and the world came to us and said, you do not own anything except these barren deserts, live in these lands and fight each other for a few drops of water, then oil was discovered and everything changed, but oil will deplete eventually , and the certain news will come when oil depletes.
The danger of oil depletion in desert is not as its danger in a land that is rich with water, so our thesis is very different from other thesis that are related to oil depletion , where most of them came from a countries that are rich with water. Consequently , the complete and true goal is not only convincing the audience, but uniting those who are convinced and directing their efforts in order to convince the governments of desert countries about the importance of finding a quick and definite solution for the problem of oil depletion. If we could do that for any reason , then we will try to convince them at least of allocating part of the financial revenues for a small cultural project which depends on renewable means of life .
This is a national, human and strategic thesis, which does not present the ideas in an emotional way, but it addresses minds and will continue with this policy until the last day.
Despite that we differentiate between deserts and lands which are rich with water, however, this thesis in fact does not present a new issue, but all the ideas are citations of the opinions of specialized scientists and experts, which are quoted from a group of books like (the end of oil era) and (party is over) and (creating history) and others. The thesis is based also on studies of oil and gas found on the internet, like the website of ASPO organization, but the thesis takes into consideration the difference between agricultural environment that is rich with water and barren desert where the groups targeted by this thesis live. We do not deliberate presenting a pessimistic image of the future, but we seek to present the true expected image by mentioning evidences which proof that it has the highest probability of happening, whether this view was good or bad. We take into consideration that we live in a barren desert, and in case the future image was bad, we will not just sit and cry, but we will deal with the bad reality as the emergency teams deal with disasters and human crisis. In summary, we are not pessimistic, but we are ready to avoid the coming danger whatever it was, without affecting our daily life negatively. The goals of this thesis are summarized by the following:
1. Exert every effort to convince the largest possible number of people about the danger of oil depletion , and the coming water crisis, and convincing them about the feasibility of procedures that should be applied like using solar energy and others, taking into consideration that this may not be achieved for several reasons.
2. Unifying and directing the efforts of those who are convinced about the dangers of oil depletion and water crisis by searching for practical persons, because not everyone who is convinced about an idea will seek to apply it.
3. Theoretical establishment for the practical phase, which may include private cultural projects in case the efforts failed to convince the audience and governments about the dangers of oil and natural resources depletion in general.
4. Sending an apology letter for the future generations, whose resources are being exhausted and whose environment is being destroyed before they are born. We place responsibly on the global capitalist system , because of its greediness and selfishness , for what will happen to these generations.
In all cases, we still have a hope…
By: Suhail Saad