What are the real consequences of oil resources worldwide depleting?
They may be not yet doing that, but they sure as hell will someday in the future, and considering that I wondered about the bigger impact on our economy and further on possible social repercussions. Even if at this time this might still be far in the future, or not so far in the future, it is worth looking at it in detail in time.
This is not primary about the fuel. It will be mentioned as it is one of the derivates of crude oil, and an overview will be available as a appendix to this text.
Rather this text will go about all the other products that are produced in a refinery. There use and how widespread they are in our economies.
Supposing the price of crude oil would go up because the supply’s go down, this would not only have consequences for the fuel price but also for a lot of other products. If the price of the raw material goes up then at a certain time, the price of the refined products also will go up and as a result if those continue going up or if the initial price increase was to much the price of the end product will also go up. That is how a market works.
A price raise of the initial product can bring a cascade of price raises, and/or a lesser profit for those involved in the whole process. This a delicate balancing act. If the end seller sells the end product at a price to high, less people will buy it, meaning that he will have less income. On the other hand if the selling price stays equal but the price at which the seller has to buy the product goes up, his/her profit margins will go down, and when this difference becomes to small, he might not be able to make a living without raising the price, even if this means that less people will buy it.
Important questions are raised about the economic development of developing countries around the world, as well as the social implications in the richer countries and the developing countries. Also this has far reaching consequences for international relationships. Not only water can be fraught over but also dwindling resources. This could bring social unrest. But first the overview of products, without that, a full view is not even possible.
2. From Crude oil to more refined products
What products and materials are derived from crude oil ?
In what products are they used ?
And further on is there any idea how big there influence is in our world ?
First things first. After some looking up, because its been a long time since school, a primary overview of base products derived form crude oil is the following:
Refinery gas => Bottled gas, fuels
Petrol => Fuel for cars
Naptha => Raw material for chemicals and plastics.
Kerosine => Fuel for Airplanes
Diesel => Fuel for cars and lorries
Oils => Fuel for Power Stations, Lubricants and grease Hot crude »
Bitumen => Road surfacing.
This gives a crude idea of what the base products are and already some indications of what the economic and therefore also social consequences would be of dwindling resources. From this view, it can be seen that most of the devices we use for motorized transport e.g. airplanes, cars, lories, boats,… and even house warming, anything that uses the fuels, would be affected. This is the part we are most made aware of. And for further information I refer to other text. See text lists at the end. (1)
Also can be seen form this short list, that other products e.g. chemicals and plastics, road surfacing lubricants and grease hot crude would be affected. Perhaps Bitumen used for road surfacing would be less affected for a while as less easy accessible stocks could be used for the creation of that, or perhaps a new technique could be devised that reuses old road surfaces ?
The question remains, firstly what products(2) are fabricated from the non fuel derivates, and secondly, where fore and most importantly how extensively are they used in our economy. A quick look around learns that cd-cases, CD’s, DVD’s, DVD-cases, casings of monitors, pc, boxes, floppy’s, minidisk, toothbrushes, my brills glasses, lamp parts, lamps, gsm parts, water bottles, racks, camera devices, camera films, paints, clothes all have products in them that originate in crude oil. I would be surprised if this would be all. This is just a quick look around my room, but many more products do exist, more than i’m currently aware of.
A further search on the internet found the following: The list is endless. Oil products fuel our planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Oil also is used to heat homes. Chemicals made from oil are used to make products that range from makeup, toys, fabrics, sneakers and football helmets to aspirin, toothpaste, deodorant, clothes, hair dryers and lipstick to name just a few. Plastics made from oil are widely used in everything from compact discs and video cassette recorders to computers, TVs, and telephones. (3)
The reason e.g. plastics and other derivates are so extensively used is that they are very useful. This also means that they have a wide influence on our economies, and that certain things would just not be possible without there existence or would exist but not on the scale we in the west have become used to.
2.1. A overview of more refined products
A complete list can be found in (2)
2.2. A overview of products that find there origin in the refinery
ping pong paddles
plastic beverage containers
Even this small overview, gives a idea of how wide plastics and oil derived products are used and how much we have become accustomed to them. What would happen if they would get more expensive.
Take eyeglasses for example. We would buy less new glasses, and might reuse the old ones, by remelting them. This also means that they would be less sold, and that for e.g in the poorer countries it would be more difficult to buy everyone plastic glasses, and it might make the use of glass more necessary.
Socially it could mean that people who today could be helped with glasses, could not be helped in the future and a handicap that was once solvable would not be anymore and it would make there life and there choices more difficult.
Appendixes to add.
point 2 From Crude oil to more refined products
- a paragraph/subchapter or a reference to a appendix might need to be added, that explains in detail how a oil refinery process works.
- a explanation on crude oil.
To add to the text somewhere in the beginning were it fits: paints, detergents, polymers (including plastics), cosmetics and some medicines
The list is endless. Oil products fuel our planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Oil also is used to heat homes. Chemicals made from oil are used to make products that range from makeup, toys, fabrics, sneakers and football helmets to aspirin, toothpaste, deodorant, clothes, hair dryers and lipstick to name just a few. Plastics made from oil are widely used in everything from compact discs and video cassette recorders to computers, TVs, and telephones.