According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) the world has reached a new record in oil production of 100 million barrels of oil per day. With one barrel containing 159 liters, this amounts to
16 milliard liters of oil taken daily from the soil of the earth. No sign of the oil market shrinking due to new resources now introduced like electric cars, solar panels and windmills (in Western Europe at least). One might even say that they have no impact
at all, worldwide.
The main ‘culprit’ ( others may call it a blessing) is the introduction of oil shale beds, which in the US meant a rise from 5 million to 11 million barrels
per day in 10 years. Now becoming again the greatest oil producer in the world.
Another fossil product, natural gas is now also extracted by shaling, sometimes called 'fracking', which means that wells need
to be drilled wherever the gas is. The gas cannot flow through the rock to the wells so the wells have to be drilled at regular intervals of 8 drills per square mile. Over 45.000 shale gas wells have been drilled in the US. Other countries
like the UK are now also following this method, criticized because it destroys natural landscapes as well.
Other substantial oil producers are Russia with 11 million barrels per day followed by
Saudi Arabia with 10.5 barrels. China is the great runner-up, rising to 12, 8 million barrels per day (from 4.7 mill in 2000), almost equal to Europe with 13,2 million per day (14,6 mil in 2000).
With the new leadership
in Brazil, there is a fair chance that every drop of oil will be squeezed from the soil of the Amazon forest in future decades.
(Adapted from Peter de Waards column in de Volkskrant 30 October 2018