Energy Scenarios Past Present And Future

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"Energy demand is expected to grow in the 21st century. The energy demand will be met by a global energy mix that is undergoing a transition from the current dominance of fossil fuels to a more balanced distribution of energy sources. Motivation of energy diversification includes population growth, quality of life, clean energy, resources/reserves. An understanding of the energy options available to us in the 21st century requires an understanding of a range of scientific theories. The scientific revolution will be based on fundamental changes of old paradigms" - John R. Fanchi in "Energy in the 21st Century", Gulf Professional Publisher, Austin (in print). This quote not only strongly demonstrates the conceivable energy scenario, but also the well-based prediction of the future role of crude oil and natural gas production/consumption. The world energy demand was about 400 EJ (1018 J) at the end of the last century (OECD, 2002; US-DOE, 2004) and the share of hydrocarbons was roughly 60% (Fig. 1). A major part of the energy, however, came from utilization of crude oil, which in itself represented about 50%. That fact clearly demonstrates that the western world and the highly developed countries are oil and gas dependent, and it is known that this dependency is steeply increasing today. Thus, Europe and North America are net hydrocarbon importers, with imports representing more than 60% of their oil and gas consumption.

According to various UN reports (UN-ESC, 1996; 2003) the present global energy demand will quadruple assuming that the world population, in an optimistic prediction, will be 8 billion at the end of the century (Fig. 2). Since there is a close correlation between the quality of life index (Fig. 3) and energy consumption (UN-ESC, 1996; 1998; 2003), which will also likely increase from the present average value of 60 to 200 MJ/y per capita, the total global energy demand will probably be 1,600 EJ (10 (UN-ESC, 1998).

J) in 2100

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Figure 1. Absolute contribution of different sources to energy production (1940-2000).

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Figure 1. Absolute contribution of different sources to energy production (1940-2000).

Figure 2. The actual and anticipated growth of world population between 1650 and 2300.

Converging data have been reported by various organizations (OECD, 2002; US-DOE, 2004; BP, 2005; WEC, 1995; Al-Fattah and Starzman, 2000; Skov, 2003; Arscott, 2003; Holditch, 2003; SPE Review, 2004; ExxonMobil, 2004; Shell, 2001) detailing the most probable diversification of energy sources in the future (Fig. 4). Although the relative importance of fossil fuels will apparently decrease, the stunning fact is that a total of 250260 billion t of crude oil (on average 2.5 billion t per year through the whole century) must be produced to meet the world demand.

Energy consumption, million J/y/capita

Figure 3. Correlation between the quality of life quality index and the energy consumption.

Energy consumption, million J/y/capita

Figure 3. Correlation between the quality of life quality index and the energy consumption.

Figure 4. Absolute contribution of different sources to energy production (2000-2100).

This task is enormous if we consider that less than 100 billion t of crude oil has been produced since 1850 and that the average production rate was less than 0.7 billion t/y. As far as the reliable hydrocarbon supply is concerned the real challenge we are faced with is that the available oil reserves (proven and to be explored) amount to only 360-370 billion t. Consequently, the world demand can only be met by the supply if the recovery factor can be increased, on average, from 35% to 67%. Competent professionals and agencies say that the recovery factor can be increased up to 50% by improving existing reservoir engineering technology. Logically, the gap between 50% and 67% can only be surmounted by the extensive use of chemical IOR/EOR methods. The other option is that "dwindling supplies of oil and gas, obsolete power net-works and new environmental regulations threaten the Western world with a new energy crisis. Consequently, mankind is becoming again vulnerable to shortages in hydrocarbons, price shocks, supply interruptions, and in the worst case, political and military blackmail", Emerson T.: Newsweek, April 2002. Taking the hydrocarbon reserves and production rates into account, it is also obvious that these countries are dependent on sources from the Middle East which implies a global economic and political dependency which will remain for the coming decades.

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