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Expert Insight

The End of Cheap Oil and How It Is Changing Our World

Author(s): Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Date: February 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

The last century can rightly be called the Age of (Inexpensive or ‘Cheap’) Oil as world oil consumption grew from about 20 million tons per year in 1900 to just under 400 million tons per year in 2005. Since 2005, however, world oil consumption has been nearly constant despite high demand and record high oil prices, which indicates that we simply cannot produce oil any faster. And since oil is not renewable, eventually the production (and therefore the consumption) of oil must decline. Declining oil production will be an extremely painful reality for the U.S. because not only does the… [more]

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