Chapter FiveFlattener #2 – The Energy Reserves and Resources Glut

We are not going to run out of oil any time in my lifetime or yours. The resource base is enormous and can support current and future demand.

Rex Tillerson, Exxon CEO

In the early 1990s, I had just finished my postgraduate degree and was ready to look for a job.

“There are only 40 years of reserves left. Why would you want to join the oil industry?” my best friend asked me. “Never bet against an engineer”, I replied half-jokingly. The world would need a lot of energy and a lot of oil to continue to grow, and the optimist inside of me believed we somehow would find a way forward, just like we did in the past. “If you give enough time and money to an engineer, he will eventually find a solution”. Technology has been, is, and will be king.

What energy scarcity?

Hydrocarbons are very abundant.

Coal reserves exceed 50+ years of current demand. Resources are even larger and would become available if and when prices increase.

Natural gas reserves exceed 100+ years of current demand. Resources are even larger and would become available if and when prices increase.

Even crude oil reserves exceed 50+ years of current demand. Resources are even larger and would become available if and when prices increase.

And it does not end there. The “new frontier” of methane hydrates (also known as “frozen methane” or “fire ice”) are ice crystals with natural methane gas locked inside. They are formed through a combination of low temperatures ...

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