When the Oil Dries Up

February 17, 2011

What happens once Saudi Arabia and other oil rich countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran start to see the amount of barrels they produce slowly decline. The alternative energies that we are developing today are not far enough along to replace our dependency on fossil fuels and people are becoming more and more desperate on their search for oil. BP and Russia have now struck a deal to begin drilling offshore in the Arctic Ocean just to try and reach more crude oil buried deep beneath the surface of the ocean floor.  These oil companies are now having to take more and more risks like these just to find and manufacture the oil necessary to keep our fossil fuel dependency alive for another day. The one gigantic risk of having the offshore drilling in the Arctic, is the risk of an oil spill such as the BP disaster off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine that oil spill ten fold. If there was an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean during the wrong part of the year, workers could be having to try and clean up an oil spill in complete darkness. It would be practically impossible. Although alternative energies will one day take over as the  main source of energy for commercial and residential use, until then we need to find other oil deposits… Or rocks? Oil shale is a type of rock that contains kerogen which is a mix of hydrocarbons that once extracted can be used to produce diesel or gasoline. The refining process longer and more expensive but it is a possible temporary patch. The other thing about oil shale is the U.S.’s potential economic benfit from the production of oil shale. The Green River Basin in Colorado is the Saudi Arabia of oil shale. The vast amount of oil shale could potentially be billions of barrels of oil waiting to be extracted. We still have to way heavily the possible economic and environmental impacts however that  this may have on the United States.


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