F. NAFICY: Numerous papers and essays have been published during the last six years concerning the World Energy Balance, of which the presentations made by FRANK PARRA and JOHN ROORDA, are the latest if not the best.
However all these papers and essays have one thing in common: they all ignore or belittle the importance and the significance of the period of transition we are going through. Most writers and commentators call the present situation of the world energy, an 'Energy Crisis'. A ‘crisis’ is an occurrence, the effect of which is of short duration, which would be overcome sooner or later, and at the end of the ‘crisis’ the situation will be very much like what it was before. What we are going through now is not a ‘crisis’ it is a 'revolution'.
Nothing in the world is going to be like what it was before. Further, the 'Energy Revolution', is going to have a deep impact and repercussion on every aspect of the world's social and economic structures, and produce many changes which are difficult to visualize now. The sooner we study and understand its implications, the better for all of us, producers and consumers alike.
When, last century, Great Britain's agriculturebased economy changed into an industry-based economy, Engels labelled it 'The Industrial Revolution'. Now we have an energy-demand-orientated economy being changed into an energy-supplyoriented economy, with implications no less serious and important than Engel's 'Industrial Revolution'.
The energy scarcity is going to remain with us, if not forever, at least for several decades.
Ever since Drake drilled his first well the oil industry has been considered a demand-oriented industry, struggling hard to stimulate demand and competing hard for every drop of additional oil required by the market. It is true some shortages were experienced from time to time as a result of such events as wars, the Arab boycott, closure of the Suez Canal etc. But all these shortages were of short duration and the effects disappeared as soon as the causes disappeared. Now, very suddenly, everybody becomes aware of the scarcity of oil and there does not seem to be any end to this scarcity.
New approaches are now required to deal with the new situation. Methods and models developed to deal with the former situation are no longer applicable.
New sets of parameters must be worked out to bring some light into the future. An accurate estimate of future supplies becomes of the utmost importance.
Figures given to the public must be weighted and their significance explained. For instance, the figure of 600 billion barrels of proven reserves and 1200 billion barrels of potential reserves are being taken by the layman as being undeniable facts. Care must be taken to explain that, by adding technical e