Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Global Energy - The Next Decade and Beyond

Arthur R. Green, Geoscientist, Retired from Exxon-Mobil Exploration Company, Houston, TX

Modern civilization, and a growing population that is experiencing the increasing tempo of globalization, will become more dependent on access to large volumes of oil, gas, and coal, and industrial materials and water.

The peaking of oil and gas production is sure to happen, and although the timing is uncertain, signs of change are on the horizon. The coming changes in the global energy balance have political, environmental, economic, and security implications.

The energy industry has experienced a number of discontinuities in the past, and it has evolved to meet the challenges. The next stage of the energy business will be its greatest challenge as corporations and governments try to meet the never-ending demand for new sources of petroleum as oil and gas fields are depleted.

The efficient, cost-effective extraction of petroleum from existing fields coupled with building the transportation infrastructure to get the product to market will be a challenge. Gas and LNG is assuming a new, unprecedented role in global energy.

The four factors driving the next phase of the energy business will be (1) the global geopolitical and economic environment, (2) science and technology, (3) human technology, and (4) sound global business planning, and investment and operations.

Recognizing and facing energy realities, learning from history, and developing an integrated plan is critical for an industry that requires lead times of 10-15 years. I am optimistic about our energy future and the leadership that will be furnished by science and innovative technology.

As we meet the energy challenges of the future, our actions must be in concert with our beautiful planet and its precious creatures large and small.

Copyright © 2005. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All Rights Reserved