A Long Range Lookahead for Oil and Natural Gas
- C.J. Hedlund (Standard Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1956
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 11 - 14
- 1956. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.8.4 Shale Oil, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 4.6 Natural Gas
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We are living in what might be called the "Age of Mineral Energy". This is an era in which increased use of mineral energy is eliminating the drudgery of yesterday and providing a foundation for the technological progress of today and tomorrow.
We in the oil industry are fortunate to be playing a major role in the development of this significant era. The fluid fuels -oil and natural gas - are the most popular and most convenient all-around sources of energy. During 1955, close to 70 per cent of total energy consumed in the United States was supplied by oil and gas. Oil contributed 44 per cent and natural gas supplied 24 per cent.
Enthusiastic public acceptance of fluid fuels has made possible the rapid growth of the petroleum business. The industry itself has a right to be proud of the vigor and resourcefulness it has displayed in developing new sources of supply, new techniques, and new products. Along with success, however, new responsibilities have fallen upon us.
The industry has important responsibilities to its stockholders, to its employees, and to the public. This paper will treat its responsibility for long range supply. Energy is so basic to economic growth that the assurance of an adequate supply of liquid fuels over the years is one of our most important obligations.
Growth Continues with 1955 a New Record Year
We might first examine the historic growth in consumption of oil and gas to see the magnitude of the problem.
Petroleum consumption in the United States was nearly 8.5 million bbl daily in 1955, an increase of about 70 per cent over the less than 5 million bbl consumed in the first postwar year of 1946. It has exceeded by far the most optimistic outlooks made just after the war.
During the nine postwar years the population of the United States increased around 24 millions or 17 per cent. But in this same period the use of oil was growing by 70 per cent. Clearly, we must look beyond mere population growth to explain oil's expansion. The answer lies in the enormous increase which has taken place in petroleum consuming units such as oil burners and vehicles of all kinds.
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