An Energy Overview: Today and Tomorrow
- W.T. Slick Jr. (Exxon Co. U.S.A.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 1976
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 7 - 10
- 1976. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 6.5.1 Air Emissions, 4.6 Natural Gas, 7.4.3 Market analysis /supply and demand forecasting/pricing, 6.5.4 Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources
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The status of U.S. energy, resources is reviewed with an eye toward the nation's goal of energy base and the technological capability for making reat strides toward self-sufficiency, a number of changes will have to be made before that goal is reached.
A look ahead at the nation's energy future is particularly timely since we are now approaching the particularly timely since we are now approaching the bicentennial year of our independence. We face the formidable task of trying to win a larger measure of energy independence - one that will make us less vulnerable to the concerted actions of a few foreign oil-producing countries.
Complete energy independence is impossible in the short run and is unlikely for years to come. Production from existing reserves of oil in the United States continues to decline. Long lead times are involved in discovering and developing new supplies from remote areas and in expanding supplemental energy sources.
Even with our best efforts to conserve energy and to develop additional domestic energy resources, we cannot avoid a growing dependence on imported oil for many years.
Projections of the future energy environment provide one basis for planning and critical investment decisions that must precede actual operations by many years. Projections, however, can deal only in reasonable Projections, however, can deal only in reasonable possibilities and, of necessity, are closely linked to their possibilities and, of necessity, are closely linked to their underlying assumptions.
Looking at the economy (see Table 1), we assume real GNP growth will be somewhat slower than the historical rate - about 3.6 percent/year compared with an average growth of about 4 percent during the 1960's. We see the economy trending toward full employment, but with a lower-than-historical growth in productivity. We assume that energy prices will increase at essentially the inflation rate.
On the political front, we envision an evolutionary development of government energy policy. We assume no government mandates that would curtail energy consumption below economic levels or would force the use of one fuel in preference to another. We also assume that the energy industries will be permitted profits sufficient to attract needed investment capital.
We assume, too, that environmental goals will be achieved at a rate compatible with economic growth. This means a delay in attaining some announced environmental goals.. It also entails access to government-owned energy resources, fewer siting delays, and local variances to air-quality standards where the alternative would be to shut down existing facilities.
Looking farther afield at energy availability worldwide, our studies assume that enough oil imports will be available to balance demand, but that gas imports will be limited.
U.S. Energy Demand
In Fig. 1 energy demand is divided among the various consuming sectors. The left-hand scale is expressed in quadrillions of British thermal units per year and the scale on the right shows millions of barrels per day of oil equivalent. The nonenergy sector reflects the use of oil, natural gas, and metallurgical coal as feed stock or raw materials.
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