Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post # 45: Whose Got The Oil?

I recently participated in 15th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems (ICENES-2011) in San Francisco, California.  I presented a paper on the status of fluoride salt-cooled reactor concepts and their enabling technologies (more about this in a later post).

At the meeting,  Dr. Charles Forsberg (formerly of ORNL and now with MIT), presented a fascinating analysis of the challenge associated with harmonizing the time-dependent dynamics U.S. electricity production and the time-dependent electricity demand.  Charles proposes a large-scale nuclear-geothermal energy production and geological storage approach that is really interesting (more about this in a future post as well).

But one of the elements of Charles' presentation that really grabbed my attention was his analysis of the vulnerability of the U.S. petroleum supply.  I want to draw your attention to it as well.

If you want (another) reason to ring your hands over our energy dependency and the un-sustainable vector we are on, take a look at this:

The data there, based on information from The Oil and Gas Journal, Sept. 15, 2010 demonstrates the absolute control a handful of nations have over the world's oil supply.

Here's the bottom-line: the total equivalent reserves of the top four oil companies/nations  (~936 Billion equivalent barrels) exceeds the COMBINED reserves of the next 46 companies (~ 846 Billion equivalent barrels by my count).

Who are these "four horseman" of the fossil fuel world?  

Saudi Arabia, 
Qatar, and 

Where does Exxon Mobile rank?  Exxon comes in at #14 with only 15 Billion barrels.

BP you ask?  BP just manages to reach #18 on the list with only 13 Billion barrels.

Just for comparison,  the U.S. Energy Information Agency @ ( ) indicates the U.S. consumed just under 19 million barrels of oil per day in 2009, importing just under 10 million barrels per day – just over 50% of our daily oil consumption.

That's not sustainable...

Just thinking,