Imagining Life without Oil

Posted on February 5, 2008. Filed under: Resources |

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The long held uncertainty surrounding the amount of oil yet to be discovered and extracted from the earth leads many people to ponder: what would life really be like without oil? An article by Bob Jent, the CEO of Western Pipeline Corporation.

While it may be impossible to accurately determine the true extent of the changes that would be associated with life without oil, one thing is certain–many of the conveniences with which we are comfortably familiar would never have existed without oil and the processes humans have developed to utilize it. Petroleum products have infiltrated our lives to an astronomical extent. Even products which are not directly petroleum derived are often produced by machines and processes dependent on oil and transported by oil-dependent means.

Imagine for a moment that the oil supply in the world is exhausted. The most visible difference you may notice in this scenario is the absence of millions of fuel powered cars dotting the roadways, but the use of oil to produce gasoline is just a drop in the bucket as compared to the rest of its endless uses.

Brainstorm for a moment about the number of plastic products you use and encounter each day, and you will realize that plastic has practically endless applicability. What many people do not realize is that plastic itself is a petroleum product. The keyboard you are using right now may have its roots in an oil reservoir deep within the earth, not to mention other commonly used oil products such as deodorant, trash bags, toothbrushes, the list goes on.

The synthetic fibers used in many types of clothing and shoes are also, you guessed it, petroleum derived. Polyester, rayon, and nylon are just a few examples. And when you wash such clothing, you once again experience the power of oil by way of petroleum derived laundry detergent. It seems that practically nothing is exempt from oil and its influence, and the food industry is no exception. The production of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides used in farming rely on oil and natural gas in production.

Experts predict that the world’s supply of oil will someday diminish. The prospect of losing such a valuable natural resource is unimaginable to the oil dependent inhabitants of the world today. Today, oil has a stronghold on the economy and will remain a critical resource for human consumption for years to come.

Disclosure: Bob Jent is the CEO of Western Pipeline Corporation. Western Pipeline Corp specializes in identifying, acquiring and developing existing, producing reserves on behalf of its individual clients.

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