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Expert Insight

What’s Next? Choosing Wisely at the End of the Oil Age

Author(s): Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Date: January 12, 2012 at 8:31 AM

The past century can rightly be called the Age of Oil.  World oil consumption grew from about 20 million metric tons/year in 1900 to nearly 4000 million tons/year in 2005—a 200 fold increase.  The economic activity enabled by oil consumption also greatly increased both human wealth and the human population size over the last century. But it is also clear that the Age of Oil is winding down.  It is obvious, but often forgotten, that we must discover oil before we can produce, refine and use it.  Worldwide, the rate of discovery of new oil reserves peaked in the 1960s.… [more]

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