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Heavy Oil as an Important Resource for the Future

With more than 87 million barrels of oil being consumed worldwide every day, oil has come to be the life-blood of modern civilization. It is cheap, relatively easy to procure and use, and has become addictive in terms of its flexibility in enhancing our lives in multiple applications. First and foremost, we are dependent on oil for transportation because more than 90% of transportation energy comes from oil. In addition, oil provides a feedstock for pharmaceuticals, agriculture, plastics, clothing, mining, electricity, and several other products that we use in our everyday lives. Almost all goods are connected to oil in one way or another; we are all dependent on oil and gas more than any other resource, yet not many of us think about this dependence.

Oil exploration and production has fueled world economic growth over the last century, and it has reached a stage where the economy of several nations is dependent on the exports of oil to the international market. Global demand for oil is now outstripping supply growth and the importance of this crucial commodity is such that companies engaged in oil exploration and production or transportation have dwarfed those in every other commodities sector. Some important aspects to keep in mind are that oil and gas are absolutely critical to the operation of today's industrial society, essential for sustained economic growth in the industrialized world, and key to progress in nations working their way toward prosperity. This translates into a growing demand for oil and gas, much of it coming from developing nations with low levels of energy use per capita.

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