The Peak Oil Problem Hasnít Gone Away

Vernon Coleman

I receive a good many letters from readers who claim that the problems associated with peak oil have been banished. There is much talk of the industryís ability to extract oil from tar sands and shale. However, there are serious problems with these sources. The important equation is the relationship between the amount of energy obtained and the amount of energy used in order to obtain that energy. (So, for example, if you have to drill a very deep hole to obtain oil it takes more energy.) This is known as the EROEI (Energy return on energy invested). The oil found in Saudi Arabia has an EROEI of 100:1. This is as good as it gets. The oil found from shale has an EROEI of 5:1 and the oil obtained from tar sands has an EROEI of 3:1. As these figures show our energy costs are going to rise enormously if we have to rely on tar sands and shale, and the days of plenty have finished. Readers might also like to read the article entitled What You Should Do To Prepare For The Day When The Oil Runs Out which was taken from my book Oil Apocalypse. Iím sorry if all this is rather gloomy but sticking our heads into the Saudi sand isnít going to help.

Copyright Vernon Coleman