World without Oil
a world without oil…no cars running on the street, no
airplane on the sky, irrigation curbed, industries closed
up… virtually all activities would come to an immediate
halt. The streets will be full of rickshaws while bullock-carts
would again find their way on the highways!
not the case yet, as still the world oil stock is sufficient
to meet the demand. How long the supply will last is still
a topic of debate though. According to US department of energy,
it should last till 2037. Nevertheless, if the population
keeps increasing as it has been in the past, and if rapid
industrialization particularly based on oil keeps up in the
developing countries, the remaining stock can deplete much
sooner --might even be within the year 2016! The recent trends
of higher oil price therefore, do signify the imminent unstable
world today burn around 80m barrels a day and by 2025, the
world is projected to need 120 million barrels per day. With
higher and higher amount of demand, the world oil reserve
shall definitely peril in the middle of this century considering
the proved reserve of oil.
just transportation and agriculture that are entirely dependent
on oil, but modern medicine, oil refineries, research and
etc. are each entirely powered by oil and petroleum derived
chemicals. Popular goods that are made with plastic, is actually
derived from oil. Many of the production and manufacturing
processes consume ravenous quantity of oil. One good example
could be the average car that usually consumes about 4,000
gallons of oil during its construction.
devices including solar panels, windmills etc. and exploration
of uranium - all of them are discovered, extracted, transported,
and fashioned using oil-powered machinery. Nuclear power plants
also consume a tremendous amount of oil during their initial
construction and continued maintenance.
the overall business volume of oil and related petroleum product
is simply incredible--billions of people all over the world
are associated directly and indirectly on this business, the
banks, investors, scientists or technicians, whatever it is,
it counts for simply too many people in this particular business.
is time to think alternative as an increase in the demand
is almost inevitable.
fuel varies in type and composition, but initially the most
important issue related to alternative fuel is the performance,
availability and costing as well and none of these fuels can
even come closer to oil. Hydrogen fuel cells are in the thinking
of the experts but it is highly expensive and yet not viable
as its raw material, platinum, is limited in the world.
solar power are also not the answer. Solar power cannot be
used in the night or cloudy days and wind power hugely depends
on the weather condition and geographic location. These two
are acceptable for nominal household applications, but never
for any industrial or commercial purposes.
think that the solution lies on nuclear energy, but it is
not. Nuclear energy requires uranium to produce the energy
and uranium as well has limitation like oil. At the current
usage rate, there is only 25~40 years of supply remaining
for uranium. Moreover, the manufacture, maintenance and even
the disposal of nuclear reactor is highly dangerous and capital
gas can be an option, at least for Bangladesh, as it has a
big stock of it. But natural gas is not suited for substituting
oil especially in cases like big vehicles, aircraft, ships,
and heavy agricultural equipments.
can use our natural gas effectively by making the required
diversification, i.e. - in the form of liquefied natural gas
(LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural
gas (LNG). Already the first two has started to occupy our
market in a short scale but LNG is yet to come. It was observed
that India is expecting to import 5 million tons of LNG from
Iran to meet its looming energy requirement. What Bangladesh
needs at this moment is strategic foreign investment in this
understandable that despite the massive increase in the energy
efficiency over the last decade, we are more dependent on
oil than ever. This trend is unlikely to be abated and therefore
it has become imperative to devote more and more on the alternate
energy options even with their individual shortcomings. Still
there is hope that the world will cope up with the imminent
energy crisis only if some steps like mass international collaboration,
unique political cooperation, exchange of technology and finally
investment on researches can be instigated rapidly.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004