August 20, 2012 08:13 AM ET
In Saudi Arabia, Ghawar Field, is an oil field located in the city of Dhahran in Khobar county of Eastern Province. It is the largest onshore oil field in the world, measuring 170 x 19 miles (3,230 square miles).
Ghawar Field was discovered in 1948, oil production started in 1951, and hit peak oil in 2005 (Contested). Ghawar's 2011 oil production is about 5,000,000 barrels per day, and gas production of 2,000 million cubic feet per day.
At the Ghawar Field, the estimated oil in place is 71,000 million barrels, which equates to about 39 years of oil left at the current rate of oil consumption. Obviously oil consumption rises every year, due to increase in population. I think we can expect oil consumption to skyrocket with China's emerging middle class, who are buying cars, eating more meat, which requires major wheat production, among other things that use oil at an exponential rate. As we approach the 7 billion mark this year in total population, more light will be shed on the subjects of overpopulation, peak oil, and food shortage; mark my words.
The fact that the largest onshore oil field in the world has begun offshore drilling manifests some alarming assumptions. Has Saudi Arabia reached peak oil already? Several articles state that Saudi Aramco (the owner of Ghawar Field) began offshore drilling 'to meet the global oil demand'. It's impossible for offshore oil rigs to produce enough oil to keep the world operating at it's current rate of consumption. If the company that owns the world's largest oil field is having to drill in the ocean to meet the global demand, then I think it's a safe assumption that peak oil is closer than we initially projected.
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. In other words, we will be consuming more oil than we can produce. We are expected to hit peak oil globally in 2020.
You don't want to imagine a world without oil. Just about everything you do requires oil; everything. All the things that make your life comfortable is made from, with, or by oil in some fashion. No more automobiles, planes, ships, boats, tires. No more 'going to work', 'going to college', communication blackouts, no electricity, and most important, no more mass food production.
About a billion people will die of starvation in just a few months. The industrial empire would collapse overnight if we ran out of oil tomorrow, because we currently do not have an infrastructure in place to support 7 billion people... without oil.
If you told someone today, that we are about to run out of oil, they would probably say 'that sucks' and attempt to go back to their normal life. But the fact is, their normal life would be stripped away so fast they wouldn't know what to do to survive; and that's scary.
Here is the reality of how dependent we are on oil. A 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:
Signing off – Joe Taylor