Petroleum's Place in the Future Energy Requirements of the United States
- Thomas W. Phelps (Socony Mobil Oil Co. Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1959
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 22 - 25
- 1959. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.6 Natural Gas
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Although we expect the total energy requirements to rise from an equivalent of 20.0 million BOPD in 1957 to 28.5 million BOPD in 1968, we predict oil's actual contribution to decline from 44 per cent in 1957 to 43 per cent by 1968. Obviously, this is an important assumption to which everyone will not agree. This prediction is shown in Fig. 1, which also shows actual United States consumption in 1957, 1948 and 1928. The year 1957 was selected as a benchmark because the recession in 1958 will distort comparisons based on that year. Viewing oil and gas as a whole, we expect our industry's share of the energy market to increase at least up to 1968. To see why, let's turn to natural gas, the tail that is increasingly wagging the petroleum dog. In Fig. 1 the figure beside the natural gas segment and the oil segment of each bar represents the consumption for that year. For natural gas this is shown in millions of barrels a day oil equivalent, computed on the basis that 5,500 cu ft of gas equals 1 bbl of oil.
Analysis of Energy Sources Competitive to Petroleum
Now let's look at the contribution of coal, hydroelectric power, and, in 1968, atomic energy. As can be seen it is estimated that coal's share of the total market will decline to 24 per cent by 1968 from 27 per cent in 1957 and 67 per cent in 1928, but we believe the decline in tonnage of coal consumed each year is ending. We estimate consumption of coal in 1968 at the equivalent of 6.9 million BOPD compared with 5.5 million BOPD in 1957 and 7.1 million BOPD in 1928. The last small strip in Fig. 1 at the top of the 1928, 1948 and 1957 bars represents hydroelectric power. This hydro segment at the top of the 1968 bar is capped by a thin strip representing our estimate of U. S. consumption of nuclear energy in that year. Awed as we are by the longer-range potentialities of atomic power, we estimate its contribution to our 1968 total energy picture to be 10 million kw, the equivalent of a mere 300,000 BOPD.
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