INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON OIL DEPLETION
Uppsala, Sweden, May 23-25, 2002
Organized by Uppsala University and ASPO, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil
Coming Oil Crisis – will there be some surviving?
Pavel Stroev, Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, Denmark
In the 2nd of April 2002, Energy Minister Assistant of Russia Valentin Shelepov in Saint-Petersburg meeting with journalists said that the current stocks of oil that Russian oil companies have in reality would be spent in 6-18 years. Earlier the evaluation of this quantity by mass media was for 50-100 years. Such significant differences are going from the evaluation methods. And the last is based on ready for extraction method was mentioned by him. So the problem of oil depletion is coming strong for Russian region with low prices for energy based on their oil, coal and natural gas resources. Soon it can come to an end. And it has to mean that in some few years investment in the oil consumption equipment (from energy generation systems to cars) must be stopped because of the short lifetime of this equipment.
Oil will also be finished worldwide but when? Politicians say that this is the main question. But it is not so. That is another problem. With oil usage, we came to another culture. We came to the oil culture on that all our society based not depending on where you are. It is true both for developed countries and for developing and countries in transition. A car you are driving, heat you are getting, even the food was grown using the oil. That is another aspect; that is culture perspective. And the oil culture is very destructive for human nature. And oil depletion for this culture is the same if you burn all books for the reading culture. People do not know not to do now. They will come to a shock. Also, that is a problem that people see no alternatives for conventional energy usage. They do not know about these alternatives.
I can mention one more problem touching the oil usage. The Earth is a living organism that can not suffer much its entrails extraction. It can just throw out one more population of people. Removing this problem from consideration of oil depletion can move us to misunderstand some new aspects that have a significant influence on this issue. And the validity of this statement we can see in our deep history. The same was with others civilizations. Do we want to go by the same way?
The conclusion can be that oil depletion will come soon and surviving can originate from the renewable energy usage and limit our needs by our possibilities to extract energy from renewable energy sources. Also, all aspects consideration must come only with resources point. Because oil is the only one resource which will be finished in one generation. After changing a priority in the energy sector to the renewable energy usage, we must come to both resources and energy savings and efficiency policy giving more attention to the savings of them. Also, I can mention that after this will be done the financial and culture policy and conditions will be changed by themselves, by nature.