The depletion of oil stocks has permanent negative effects on society as a whole worldwide. The United States is the number one consumer of oil in the world, with China following closely behind, and already we are starting to see the lasting effects of dependence upon oil production and. Prices of oil products like heating oil are shooting through the roof, especially gas. However, the United States is not the only country at fault for the rising value and falling supply of oil. Global growth has led to a peak usage of oil throughout the world. Unless something is done soon to replace oil as a major source of energy, this resource will be depleted, and pocketbooks will begin to feel the pain as the situation worsens.
What has led to such a catastrophe in this day and age? Why has technology not found a better way to fuel cars, heat buildings and produce needed energy? The truth is, there are other ways to meet these needs; however to do so economically on a large scale is a huge problem. In recent years, the price of fuel in the United States has doubled due to limited access to oil stocks and production. Imagine the cost of a gallon of gas should these sources get perilously close to completion with no alternatives, or simply their shipping compromised. With oil demands and usage peaking around the world, the danger is imminent. Consumption is at an all-time high, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, which brought about the development of cars, factories, and other machines that consume oil at unbelievable rates. Power plants use oil and gas to generate electricity, while there are other alternative heating solutions that could help rid the world’s dependence upon the single fossil fuel.
The Impact of Growth
The major cause of increased oil stocks depletion is simply growth. There has been global growth in population as well as technology, and both have fueled (pardon the pun) the need for fuel. Population growth has been rapid especially in areas where there is a concentrated source of energy available, though this has caused even further complications. By gathering in one area with great density, a population will place a high demand on theand therefore cause energy shortages when the supply cannot meet the demand. This means that more oil will be used to fuel the large population, further depleting oil stocks and possibly denying a more needy area of the same energy.
When the world oil reserves are tapped, and the demand is much greater than producers can manage, the consequences will be drastic. There will be higher oil prices, which are already being seen and having an effect on economies worldwide. The price of a barrel of oil has surpassed all-time highs, hitting peaks of near $93 recently (October 2007). Not so long ago, oil was around $15 a barrel, so between political struggles, rising demands, and reduced supplies, the price has already been affected incredibly. While it seems a simple process to explore for more resources of oil, it is not; most known large oil stocks have been discovered decades ago, and exploration is a slow process – once an oil stock has been found, it takes up to ten years to start producing on a commercial basis.