Towards the turn into the 21st Century there has to be a change in the major source for energy. Presently the hydrocarbons – oil and gas – predominate and the conversion will be to nuclear, being supported by coal usage with special extraction processes for synthetic gas, and perhaps some solar energy will be utilized.
Demand for energy is on almost an asymptotic curve, and the hydrocarbons cannot continue to meet the incredible upsurge. Canada's hydrocarbon potential – already discovered and yet to be found in the "known areas" and litho se of promise" – is discussed within this framework. The key to the question of Canada' s hydrocarbon potential revolves around the "areas of promise" where vast reserves await to be recovered – of the order of 50 billion barrels conventional oil, at least 100 billion barrels synthetic oil, and 250 tcf natural gas. The "known areas" will cause a short-fall in supplying Canada, but the combination of the two areas will result in a large hydrocarbon surplus for export to the U.S.A. where there will be a critical deficiency situation.
Excessive Federal regulations introduced to suppress high rate production simply to preserve the assets for some unknown date in the future would be detrimental to the Ganadian nation as the Industry would wither. or, it would most certainly falter. Actions that encourage exploration and production will enable Canada and its people to flourish, all in keeping, of course, with sound engineering and good ecological practice. A reversed procedure would have a perishing effect, but this is not foreseen. Ganada' s domestic hydrocarbon requirements and those of export to the U. S. A. are indivisible.
Man cannot go on and on producing a finite source ad infinitum: the termination ultimately occurs with the passage of time. The demand for energy will continue unabated, but the supply from hydrocarbons will peak some 30 years hence somewhere around the turn of the century and then terminate around the year 2070.
Another source will have to be brought into play, for example nuclear. Nuclear energy is now being phased-in and it will be in vogue about the year 2000, which is roughly the down-turn point for hydrocarbon fuelling.
The basic exercise of this study, which is not wholly academic, is to predict that point in time when the downward deflection has to occur in the supply of hydrocarbons. This is quite a formidable task due to the variables in the equation, but nevertheless it can be ascertained with a reasonable degree of precision by mathematical interpretation. The asymptote, which is the course we are now on, has to reverse itself; it definitely will in time.
It is proposed to take a sharp look at the paths along which we are so deeply committed in our demands for hydrocarbons, namely oil and natural gas.