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Published on April 15th, 2010 | by Christopher DeMorro

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US Military Sees Massive Oil Shortages As Soon As 2015

The military consumes a lot of oil; precisely how much, not even they seem to know. But not only do they buy and consume lots of oil, but they ship it all over the world to whatever theater they need. It isn’t exactly efficient, and the Department of Defense knows it. They’ve been moving towards greener, less oily ideas of getting troops and equipment around, ideas that may one day filter down to the civilian population.

But while the Department of Defense may not know how much oil it uses, it has a good idea of when it will start running short of supplies. A recent report suggests that as soon as 2015 all the surplus oil production could be gone, and production could fall short on the order of 10 million barrels… per day

There are lots of arguments for, and against, peak oil, when it will happen, and just how bad it will be. But as a single entity, the US Military is the top consumer of energy in the world. The military pays as much as $400 a gallon for gas, when you figure in all the shipping, equipment, and personal required to get the fuel where it is destined to go. So when the military is predicting massive shortages just a few years out, we should all tune in and pay attention.

Hell, peak oil could happen even sooner. Many of the world’s oil-producing countries aren’t exactly chummy with the U.S., nor are they the most upfront and honest about, well, anything it seems. Saudi Arabia may be exaggerating their oil reserves by as much as a third. Even Kuwaiti scientists funded by Kuwaiti Big Oil are now saying peak oil could come as soon as 2014. Demand is set to hit a record this year, with the world as a whole consuming on the order of 86.6 million barrels per day. That would break the record of 86.5 million barrels per day set in 2007, just before the recession. As the world economy recovers, demand is sure to surge, despite green initiatives.

High oil prices could cause all sorts of unintended problems, like despots, energy wars, and worse. Is five years enough time to drive down demand (at least in the U.S.), or are we all still going to be addicted to dino juice when the shortages start? [Ed. Note: As much as I liked the Mad Max movies, I'm thinking I'd like to steer clear of actually living them out... m'kay?]

I’m calling $4 a gallon gas this summer. And it is only gonna get worse.

Source: The Guardian | Reuters | Image: US National Archives


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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • http://hopetoprosper.com Bret

    I understand the millitary is seriously evauating DME, because it’s one of the few real alteratives that could replace the massive amount of petroleum they use daily. They already see the writing on the wall and hopefully, they will take action.

    As for the civilian population, I predict DME will be a future solution as well. It costs half as much as diesel, it burns much cleaner and it can work on existing vehicles, that are reto-fitted. Plus, it can be made from many different sources, including coal, natural gas and biomass.

    As for peak oil, no one really knows when it will happen. But, the sharp production declines of the world’s major oil fields is very ominous indeed. We needed to start shifting away from oil ten years ago, like Brazil did.

  • http://hopetoprosper.com Bret

    I understand the millitary is seriously evauating DME, because it’s one of the few real alteratives that could replace the massive amount of petroleum they use daily. They already see the writing on the wall and hopefully, they will take action.

    As for the civilian population, I predict DME will be a future solution as well. It costs half as much as diesel, it burns much cleaner and it can work on existing vehicles, that are reto-fitted. Plus, it can be made from many different sources, including coal, natural gas and biomass.

    As for peak oil, no one really knows when it will happen. But, the sharp production declines of the world’s major oil fields is very ominous indeed. We needed to start shifting away from oil ten years ago, like Brazil did.

  • Glen

    One must ask why the military made this anouncment instead of the politcos. Well what happens when the military deems a resource more valueable to their needs than the public? Rationing!!!! Hold on its going to be a bumpy ride

  • Glen

    One must ask why the military made this anouncment instead of the politcos. Well what happens when the military deems a resource more valueable to their needs than the public? Rationing!!!! Hold on its going to be a bumpy ride

  • Marc

    Since “DME” is the solution to all…., I looked it up:

    According to ACRONYMFINDER.COM, it can mean:

    Durable Medical Equipment

    Distance Measuring Equipment

    Dried Malt Extract

    Decision Making Exercise

    Dubai Mercantile Exchange (this one actually has a link to the story !!)

    Diploma in Mechanical Engineering

    Diabetic Macular Edema

    Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program (I like this one, personally)

    Doctorate of Music Education

    O.k., that search wasn’t all that useful…

    Could someone please enlighten all of us not in the know. What does DME mean ?

    Thanks.

    Marc

    • Nick Chambers

      Marc,

      That’s funny about all the unrelated results! In this case, DME stands for Dimethyl Ether, which, curiously, didn’t even show up on your search.

      DME is being researched worldwide as one solution to our impending energy crisis. It can be made from a variety of sources including renewable biologic material and fossil fuels such as natural gas.

      You can learn more:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_ether
      http://www.aboutdme.org/

  • Marc

    Since “DME” is the solution to all…., I looked it up:

    According to ACRONYMFINDER.COM, it can mean:

    Durable Medical Equipment

    Distance Measuring Equipment

    Dried Malt Extract

    Decision Making Exercise

    Dubai Mercantile Exchange (this one actually has a link to the story !!)

    Diploma in Mechanical Engineering

    Diabetic Macular Edema

    Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program (I like this one, personally)

    Doctorate of Music Education

    O.k., that search wasn’t all that useful…

    Could someone please enlighten all of us not in the know. What does DME mean ?

    Thanks.

    Marc

    • Nick Chambers

      Marc,

      That’s funny about all the unrelated results! In this case, DME stands for Dimethyl Ether, which, curiously, didn’t even show up on your search.

      DME is being researched worldwide as one solution to our impending energy crisis. It can be made from a variety of sources including renewable biologic material and fossil fuels such as natural gas.

      You can learn more:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_ether
      http://www.aboutdme.org/

  • Don

    Has anyone else noticed the decided lack of rhetoric related to biofuels these days? This second generation biofuel thing appears to have stumbled coming out of the starting blocks. Yes indeed it is going to be an extremely bumpy ride!!

  • Don

    Has anyone else noticed the decided lack of rhetoric related to biofuels these days? This second generation biofuel thing appears to have stumbled coming out of the starting blocks. Yes indeed it is going to be an extremely bumpy ride!!

  • http://Web ObiJohn

    I stumbled across this article nine months after it was written. Funny how the author’s prediction ($4/gal gas in the summer of 2010) didn’t happen.

    I think we’re nowhere near peak oil. What about the huge finds off of the coast of Brazil? Or the field that was the source of the BP oil spill? Etc.? What about the tremendous amount of oil close inshore off of the USA’s west and east coasts? The oil seeps are so bad off of California that they are responsible for the tar found on CA beaches.

  • http://None Tyler

    The most lenient of estimates puts us at peak oil at 2020, the earliest being 2013, honestly if we don’t have some sort of higher consciousness/ mass awakening in december 2012 then I think it’s almost inevitable we will run out of oil soon. It’s hard to estimate because everyone keeps having to adjust their estimate to the rise in demand for oil from countries like China and India wanting to start driving cars etc. Honestly, I don’t see us having oil past 2015, if we’re still here. Our only renewable energy resource that we can use on modern, current cars without having to change them in any way is hemp biofuel. Look it up. It emits a clean exhaust, can be used in any car with a diesel engine, could power every automobile in America with just using 6% of the United State’s farm land, ( for perspective we use about 10% for growing tobacco, 6% is nothing ) we would be completely energy independent if we did this, and best of all, prices would be near 75 cents a gallon. Remember those days?

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