The coming world oil disruptions
By Don Koenig
The main focus of the world is now on possible world oil shortages and disruptions. As world demand increases and the world supply of cheap oil depletes, oil becomes a more critical commodity for nations. In times of world war, securing oil will be even more essential. When Russia comes down to take a spoil in the wars of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 one of the main reasons might be to take control of the oil fields in the Middle-East. Also, when the 200,000,000 man army mentioned in Revelation comes from the East the main reason may be to secure the Middle East oil fields (China).
The world supply of cheap oil is limited
Most of the world's easily accessed oil is in the Middle East. There will be fewer new discoveries of major oil fields and old fields of low cost conventional oil will deplete faster than the new cheap sources that are found. The oil coming from the newer fields will be much more expensive to extract. Some experts have said that world oil production would peak around the year 2010 and then fall off sharply. In the year 2000 they said only 25 percent of the amount of oil available in 2010 would be available in 2030 with the world demand for oil continuing to increase (see graph below).
I personally do not see any large fall off in production that soon. I think Iraq, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, the US and others have the potential to keep oil production at high levels. Also, there is much new oil being recovered in old fields through new high tech production methods.
I do not think world oil production is anywhere near peaking yet. There is still tremendous amount of oil in the earth but it will get more expensive to get out of the ground. There is enough shale oil to last the world for hundreds of years but oil from shale will not be a big portion of oil production for at least 20 more years.
The main danger of world oil shortages is disruptions due to war. That certainly can limit world production and by looking at the stability of the Middle East those disruptions are more likely to happen than not.
Signs of the time
Whenever there is quite a bit more demand than supply it will cause huge economic disruptions. The oil producing nations will be able to raise oil prices to levels that many nations simply will not be able to afford. The nations that control the oil will become very wealthy but they will become a very tempting target for those coveting their oil.
Oil certainly will be the key focus of the world between the years 2015 and 2035. In the more distant future the world will develop new ways to bring oil and gas shale resources to market and there will also be alternative energy sources developed so oil will not be a major threat to the world after about 2040. (There may be a gap in energy producing technology to produce adequate amounts of energy between the years 2025 and 2040.) So the critical dependence on oil and the danger will be for the next one or two decades. One of the major reasons for the wars in the Middle East that we see in Bible prophecy may be due to coveting the riches that God placed there or disruptions of oil delivery from the Middle East.
The following graph was made from projected production figures that were published in Popular Science Magazine around the year 2000. It obviously underestimates future oil production. I think oil production will exceed 2010 levels in this graph until about 2030. The key factors to the world during this period will be disruptions by inevitable wars and the price.
The Prophetic Years | Bible prophecy and end time worldviews