Advertisement

The Petroleum Revolution and the First Half of the Age of Oil

  • Charles A. S. Hall
  • Kent Klitgaard
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter will focus on the importance of fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil) and especially petroleum (meaning natural gas and oil, or sometimes just oil). First we want to ask why petroleum and especially oil. Why has petroleum been so important, and why is it so hard to unhook ourselves from it? To do that we need to look more broadly for a moment at the energy situation that has faced, and that faces, humanity. Solar energy, either directly or as captured by plants, was and is the principal energy available to run the world or the human economy. It is enormous in quantity but diffuse in quality. As we have developed in the previous chapter, the history of human culture can be viewed as the progressive development of new was to exploit that solar energy using various conversion technologies, from spear points to fire to agriculture to, now, the concentrated ancient energy of fossil fuels. Until the past few hundred years, human activity was greatly limited by the diffuse nature of sunlight and its immediate products and because that energy was hard to capture and hard to store. Now fossil fuels are cheap and abundant, and they have increased the comfort, longevity, and affluence of most humans, as well as their population numbers.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank S. Ulgiati, R. Kaufmann, Jean Laherrère and C. Levitan for discussions.

References

  1. 1.
    Derived, with substantial modifications and permission from Hall, C., P. Tharakan, J. Hallock, C. Cleveland, and M. Jefferson. 2003. Hydrocarbons and the evolution of human culture. Nature 426: 318–322. Updates on EROI are available in a special issue of the Journal Sustainability (2011) and Hall, C.A.S., J.G. Lambert, S.B. Balogh. 2014. EROI of different fuels and the implications for society. Energy Policy 64: 141–152.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Munasinghe, M. 2002. The sustainomics trans-disciplinary meta-framework for making development more sustainable: Applications to energy issues. International Journal of Sustainable Development 5: 125–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Interlaboratory Working Group. 2000. Scenarios for a clean energy future. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory LBNL-44029, Berkeley. http://www.ornl.gov/ORNL/Energy_Eff/CEF.htm.
  4. 4.
    Hall, C.A.S., D. Lindenberger, R. Kummel, T. Kroeger, and W. Eichhorn. 2001. The need to reintegrate the natural sciences with economics. BioScience 51: 663–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tharakan, P.J., T. Kroeger, and C.A.S. Hall. 2001. Twenty-five years of industrial development: a study of resource use rates and macro-efficiency indicators for five Asian countries. Environmental Science & Policy 4: 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kaufmann, R.K. 2004. The mechanisms for autonomous increases in energy efficiency: a cointegration analysis of the US energy/GDP ratio. The Energy Journal 25: 63–86; Wiedmann, T. O., Schandl, H., Lenzen, M., Moranc, D., Suh, S., West, J. and Kanemotoc, K. (2012). The material footprint of nations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112, 10, 6271–6276.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gupta, A. 2015. Energy and GDP for various countries and the world.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Smulders, S., and M. de Nooij. 2003. The impact of energy conservation on technology and economic growth. Resource Energy Economics 25: 59–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sadorsky, P. 1999. Oil price shocks and stock market activity. Energy Economics 21: 449–469. See also Hall, C.A.S., Groat, A. 2010. Energy price increases and the 2008 financial crash: a practice run for what’s to come? The Corporate Examiner. 37: No. 4-5:19–26.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lambert, J., C.A.S. Hall, S. Balogh, A. Gupta, and M. Arnold. 2014. Energy, EROI and quality of life. Energy Policy 64: 153–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tissot, B.P., and D.H. Welt. 1978. Petroleum formation and occurrence. New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Campbell, C.J., and J.H. Laherrère. 1998. The end of cheap oil. Scientific American 278: 78–83; see also Jean Laherrère’s discussion of uncertain definitions of oil reserves at ASPO France and his (and other’s) papers at http://theoilage.org/the-oil-age-journal/.
  13. 13.
    United States Geological Survey (USGS). 2003. The world petroleum assessment 2000. www.usgs.gov; Energy Information Administration, US Department of Energy. 2003. International outlook 2003. Report no. DOE/EIA-0484(2003), Table 16 at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/oil.html.
  14. 14.
    ———. 2000. United States Department of Energy long term world oil supply. http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/presentations/2000/long_term_supply/index.htm.
  15. 15.
    Hubbert, M.K. 1969. Energy resources (Report to the Committee on Natural Resources). San Francisco: W.H. Feeeman.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hallock, J., P. Tharakan, C. Hall, M. Jefferson, and W. Wu. 2004. Forecasting the availability and diversity of the geography of oil supplies. Energy 30: 207–201.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hallock, J.L., Jr., W. Wu, C.A.S. Hall, and M. Jefferson. 2014. Forecasting the limits to the availability and diversity of global conventional oil supply: Validation. Energy 64: 130–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lynch, M.C. 2002. Forecasting oil supply: Theory and practice. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 42: 373–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bartlett, A. 2000. An analysis of U.S. and world oil production patterns using Hubbert-Style curves. Mathematical Geology 32: 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Brandt, A.R. 2007. Testing Hubbert. Energy Policy 35: 3074–3088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kaufmann, R.K., and L.D. Shiers. 2008. Alternatives to conventional crude oil: When, how quickly, and market driven? Ecological Economics 67: 405–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nashawi, I.S., A. Malallah, and M. Al-Bisharah. 2010. Forecasting world crude oil production using Multicyclic Hubbert model. Energy & Fuels 24: 1788–1800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kaufmann, R.K., and C.J. Cleveland. 2001. Oil Production in the lower 48 states: Economic, geological and institutional determinants. The Energy Journal 22: 27–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kaufmann, R.K. 1991. Oil production in the lower 48 states: Reconciling curve fitting and econometric models. Resources and Energy 13: 111–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hall, C.A.S., and Ramirez-Pasualli, C. 2013. The first half of the age of oil. An exploration of the works of Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrere. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cleveland, C.J., R. Costanza, C.A.S. Hall, and R. Kaufmann. 1984. Energy and the United States economy: A biophysical perspective. Science 225: 890–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hall, C.A.S., J.G. Lambert, and S.B. Balogh. 2014. EROI of different fuels and the implications for society. Energy Policy 64: 141–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hall, C.A.S. (ed). 2011. Special issue of journal “Sustainability” on EROI Sustainability: 2011 (3): 1773–2499. Includes: Guilford, M., C.A.S., Hall, P. O’Conner, and C.J., Cleveland. 2011. A new long term assessment of EROI for U.S. oil and gas: Sustainability: Special Issue on EROI. Pages 1866–1887; and Sell, B., C.A.S, Hall, and D., Murphy. 2011. EROI for traditional natural gas in Western Pennsylvania. Sustainabilities: Special Issue on EROI. 2011. Pages 1986–2008; Hall, C.A.S. 2017. Energy Return on Investment: A unifying principle for Biology, Economics and sustainability. Springer Nature, N.Y.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gagnon, N., C.A.S. Hall, and L. Brinker. 2009. A preliminary investigation of energy return on energy investment for global oil and gas production. Energies 2 (3): 490–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Poisson, A., and C.A.S. Hall. 2013. Time series EROI for Canadian oil and gas. Energies 6 (11): 5940–5959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Murphy, D.J., C.A.S. Hall, and R. Powers. 2011. New perspectives on the energy return on investment of corn based ethanol. Environment, Development and Sustainability 13 (1): 179–202. Giampietro, M. and K. Mayumi. 2009. The biofuel delusion. Earthscan, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Masnadi M.S. and Brandt, A.R. (2017). Energetic productivity dynamics of global super-giant oilfields, Energy & Environmental Science, 10, 1493–1504; Mohr, S.H., Wang, J., Ellem, G., Ward, J. and Giurco, D. (2015). Projection of world fossil fuels by country. Fuel 1(141), 120–135.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hakes J. 2000. Long term world oil supply: A presentation made to the American Association of Petroleum Geochemists, New Orleans, Louisiana. http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/presentations/2000/long_term_supply/index.htm.
  34. 34.
    Tainter, J., and T. Patzek. 2011. Drilling down: The Gulf oil debacle and our energy dilemma. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tainter, J. 1988. The collapse of complex systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Ahmed, Nafeez. 2016. Failing States, Collapsing Systems: Biophysical Triggers of Political Violence. SpringerNature.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hirsch, R., R. Bezdec, and R. Wending. 2005. Peaking of world oil production: impacts, mitigation and risk management. U.S. Department of Energy. National Energy Technology Laboratory. Unpublished Report.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hirsch, R. 2008. Mitigation of maximum world oil production: Shortage scenarios. Energy Policy 36: 881–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Freidemann, A. 2016. When the trucks stop running. Energy and the future of transportation. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Prieto, P., and C.A.S. Hall. 2012. Spain’s photovoltaic revolution: The energy return on investment. New York: Springer. The issue of what is the proper EROI for solar fuels is quite contentious: see e.g. Hall, Charles A.S. 2017. Will EROI be the primary determinant of our economic future? The view of the natural scientist vs the economist. Joule 1(2):3–4.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Smil, Vaclav. 2011. Global energy: The latest infatuations. American Scientist 99: 212–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. S. Hall
    • 1
  • Kent Klitgaard
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science & ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Wells CollegeAuroraUSA

Personalised recommendations