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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Oil is not going away - ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond via Newsweek

Lee Raymond known as Oil Man's Oil Man says, "Thirty to 40 years from now, the combination of price and new technology is going to make unconventional oils—heavy oil, tar sands—conventional".Lee Raymond also points out that wind and solar power don't compete on a stand-up basis with fossil fuels. They require huge subsidies. At 20 percent growth in wind and solar for 20 years, it's still a half of 1 percent of the world's energy.Demand for oil grows at something like 2 percent a year. Doesn't sound like much, but back in 1972, that came to 800,000 barrels a day; now it's 2 million barrels a day. At the same time, the base from which you produce is in decline at 3 to 4 percent a year, or about 1.5 million barrels a day in 1972, and 3 to 4 million barrels a day today. So the gap has grown from about 2 million to 6 million barrels a day. What needs to be done every year to fill the gap becomes an increasingly immense task.Large-scale electricity generation is going to have to come from fossil fuels in the near term, and perhaps more nuclear in the long term.For the next 20 years, growth in the world economy is going to raise demand by oil and oil equivalents from something on the order of 65 to 85 million barrels a day, to 330 million [barrels], which is a huge, huge number. It's like eight Saudi Arabias. It's hard for anyone to be able to grasp the immensity of the energy system.
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