In2000, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, gave aninterview, which he said, “TheStone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil agewill come to an end not because we have a lack of oil.” This essay will examinethe different perspectives on his quote regarding to oil. On the one hand, dueto climate change affect and Paris Agreement, new technological developments onrenewables and tendency on to nuclear energy might bring the end of oil age. Onthe other hand, in todays conditions both in industry field and transportationoil is the absolute element and there is no substitute of it and invention ofcarbon capture storages have key role on continuing fossil fuel consumption.
What is more, developing countries have been addicted on oil. Therefore, inthese circumstances, some of the people think that the oil age will never end.From a personal perspective, I agree with Yamani that there is enough oil inthe earth but before it finishes the age of oil will come to an end in nextdecades.
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First of all, regarding to climatechange effects, 195 countries signed Paris Agreement and the most of themratified it. The most oil production countries, such as Saudi Arabia and UnitedStates of America, are the part of this agreement. Briefly, agreement aim is tolimit earth’s rising temperature below 2 °C. All countries, both develop anddeveloping, countries have duties, commitments and obligations and due to ParisAgreement.
Claes and Hveem asserts that agreementwill affect policy-making processes by directly in terms of putting pressure ongovernments to honor promises of climate warming reduction action and indirectlyin the sense that the general public will be more motivated to consent changesin energy usage. According to this, governments have made newenergy policies to decrease carbon dioxide emission. Governments have providedsome interventions or subsidies, in which cashtransfers to producers, price controls, trade restrictions and limits on marketaccess, for renewable energies which solar, wind and hydro.When the comparison of cost between oil and renewables, oil is much cheaperthan renewables but subsidies encourage investors.
In the last decades, chartsshow that starts up costs are decreasing thanks to development of technologyand installation capacities are increasing day by day. Nowadays, countries replacing oil andcoal with solar energy panels. There are some advantageous. The first, solar isfree usage at certain periods of the day at source. Secondly, solar panels areconvenient to new technological improvements such as graphene and nanotechnology lead to new applications (Helm). Finally, the best way to obey to obligations of ParisTreaty is expanding solar usage for reducing carbon dioxide emission.
Inindustrial field subsidies, on renewables are encouraging investors and affectof it naturally the demand for oil is fallen. Helm claims that “solar generation, new storage, and electric carswould do considerable damage to the prospects of the oil industry and oilproducers”. Claes andHveem emphasises that there are major challenges toaccomplish a total fuel switch. The most readily available alternative at theend-user stage is to switch from a fossil fuel car to an electric car. Many ofthe car manufacturers produce fuel cell electric, hybrid electric and batterypowered electric vehicles for private users and public transportation. Atfirst, Fuel cell electric vehicles make use of hydrogen, the most abundantelement in the universe and have been used as a fuel for manned spaceflights (Oman, 2002). Therefore,it is an alternative fuel and considerably, reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Lastly,hybrid electric and battery powered electric vehicles provides zero emissionsat source and 90% efficient compared to 25% of traditional internal combustionengines (Sperling, 2003).According to International Energy Agency, fuelcell electric, hybrid electric and battery powered electric vehicles rocket upto nearly 2 million units in 2016. It is obviously seen that, today’s trend iselectrical vehicles and next decades these numbers probably will increase.
New technologies are essential and vitally important fordecarbonisation. Beside ofrenewables, second option is nuclear energy that is vitally importantfor protection from climate change adverse effects. In today’s world, the maindeveloped countries, such as USA, UK and Japan, operating nuclear centrals.Start up cost is very high when comparing with other energy sources but it cangenerate large amount of electricity without carbon dioxide emission. Nuclearpower plants are working nearly 60 years and efficiency of it is approximately90%.
It is clearly seen that only some of the main developed countries canbuilt nuclear power plants because of cost but in the future if every nation produceenergy from nuclear power oil demand probably will drop. Helm believes that given the time spans in building nuclear, it is thereforeunlikely to undermine fossil fuels in the first half of this century. Oncontrary, Chapman claimsthat usage of nuclear energy has not increased as predicted because reluctanceto commit to major projects because of the poor economic conditions againstoil, coal or gas; and there are some concerns about disposal waste and worriesabout nuclear weapon development. On the other hand, towards Yamani’s quote some of thepeople believe that carbon capture and storage technology as a way to prolongthe life of fossil fuels. Carbon capture and storage technology can captureapproximately capture 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions produced from the useof fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial field. Haszeldine asserts that carboncapture and storage is a direct emissions mitigation option, usually consideredas an interim system to enable a 50-year transition away from fossil fuels. Moreover,carbon capture and storage is not only applied for power plants also for largeindustrial sites such as refineries, steel, cement and ethanol.
Nevertheless,it is nearly impossible that purchase of carbon capture and storages indeveloping countries. Each carbon capture and storage projects cost nearly0.5-1$ billion. Thus, without any economic aid of other countries orinstitutions developing countries cannot afford it. Rubin et al mentioned that the cost ofcarbon capture and storages could pose a barrier to its widespread use as agreenhouse gas mitigation control strategy. The total cost of carbon captureand storage includes the cost of carbon dioxide capture and compression; thecost of carbon dioxide transport and the cost of storage. Despite the growinginterest in renewable energy sources, oil and gas cannot be abandoned becausethe world struggles to meet the demand for affordable energy.
Technology is themost important force to increase the supply of more demanding oil and gas andto reduce the environmental impact of energy production and consumption.Globally unaligned government regulations and unequal distribution of naturalsources and technological know-how will result in more diversified operations anddeeper complementary partnerships. Renewable energy investments and subsidiesin developed countries have increased with rising oil and gas prices since the1990s, but today the rate of increase has decreased dramatically with rapidcuts in subsidies. Renewable powergrowth in EU slows, as the share of renewables is now at the level wheresubsidy burden has become an issue. Nevertheless renewables continue to gainmarket share in the EU, because overall power growth is low (0.8%pa). Lessmature markets for renewables with lower current shares, can sustain highergrow rates.
Therefore renewable energies are making the biggest investment onlyin developing countries. When looking at 2030,companies need to develop, organize, and integrate strategic production andinformation technologies to enable key success factors: performance management,enterprise risk management, operational excellence, human management, andadaptive business models. New technologies, efficient research and improvements will enable futuretechnology advances to assist operations, as well as strategic partnershipswithin and outside the Oil and Gas industry. Technological progress and theanticipation of rising energy prices have made unusual oil and gas resourcesmore attractive and viable. Although most of the interviewed managers expectedthis trend to continue, they expressed concerns about CO2 emissions, high-energyrequirements for operations, high-priority capital costs, and land accessrelated to such resources. Technologies and operational developments can limitthe potential disadvantages of energy generation operations. Much of theincrease in supplies over the last ten years has been due to the recovery. Technologyhas a great potential to make more use of this activity.
Enhanced Oil Rescue techniques haveproven their value in order to access the messy trap oil and low mobiloil. Withintelligent instrumentation areas and integrated information technology, it isexpected to make more efficient production of advanced oil rescue techniquesand extend the life span of existing fields. Over the coming years, the oil andgas industry will face stricter environmental, land, sea and air emissionsduring the general environmental footprint and operations. Today, there is awide range of technological research initiatives around the world, at differentlevels of ambition and maturity, to get rid of the environmental constraints ofhuman energy consumption. Oil and Gas are an important player and challenged toadapt to changing conditions.
However, the industry operates in a strongcompetitive market and all voluntary activities beyond the “rules of thegame” and the authorities’ instructions should be based on long-term costestimate analysis. The assessment of the environmental effort is likely to bemore in business economics and accounting. The challenge is to turn expensiveenvironmental protection efforts into competitive advantages.