Why The Industrial Scare May Just Be Temporary – For Now
The entire planet is on its way out from the Corona Virus scare, and so is the oil and gas sector. Of every existing industry on the planet, the oil and gas sector is one of the most affected industry next to tourism and entertainment.
Many industries are still in its recovering stage. We are sure that there are some people who wants a quick summary of how the oil and gas sector is doing. Just as we are curious about how the oil and gas sector is coming along also.
Here is a watered-down summary of how it is doing now.
Oil and Gas Sector Recovery Set TO Drag Up to the Year 2022
In a recent article by Wall Street Journal, it states that oil prices will not recover until end of 2021 or early 2022. A group of 10 investment banks polled by Wall Street Journal mentioned that oil prices will not return to pre-corona virus price levels. However, market leaders Brent Crude Oil and West Texas Intermediate are set to see crude oil prices sell between US$50.31 and US$53.50.
In simple layman’s words: oil and gas prices have been doing poorly. From earlier this year, its where the oil and gas price have dropped to below US$0 per barrel. It’s pretty telling that it’s less likely oil and gas prices will pick up immediately after the Corona virus have put the planet on a standstill. However, you may observe how oil and gas sector may pick up its price gradually.
However, there are news saying that crude oil prices forecast may be set at US$10 per barrel. That is short of the US$60 per barrel that many oil and gas sector companies may hope for. Hence, the oil price recovery by end of the year 2021.
Dying Industry Leaving Behind a Deadly Legacy
Industries with links to fossil fuel, directly or not, have always left behind a series of bad legacies. Much of the world still depends on the oil and gas sector despite its reserves running dry. However, it’s a known fact that oil and gas sector don’t last forever.
In a news published on Common Dreams back in September, it said that a lot of international investment companies don’t see the viability in investing in oil and gas sector anymore. Investor companies such as Glencore and UniSuper both mentioned that they have no plans to invest in the oil and gas sector as the returns are just “not that attractive”.
A UniSuper spokesperson told Bloomberg that a giant new coal mine in Australia’s Bowen Basin may suffer a setback. This comes after key stakeholder UniSuper Management Pty said they will not support the project. They say:
We can’t think of a more tangible way of us demonstrating how seriously the risks are that are posed by decarbonization. Thermal coal is bound to be a stranded asset. It is yet another sign that coal’s terminal decline is continuing. No one wants to invest anymore.
This is just some of the setbacks that the oil and gas sector will leave behind.
Few Resolves Leaking Oil Wells and Abandoned Oil Wells
Leaking oil wells and abandoned oil wells is a common problem in the oil and gas sector. Before we go on, here is how an oil well is made (and the process before building one).
Step 1 – Exploration
Exploration is where the organisation sets out to look for oil. It can be on dry land, or it can be out at sea. The organisation may look for rock formations or natural gas deposits.
Step 2 – Well Development
This occurs after exploration. The organisation will start with the blueprints, followed by the oil rig construction. As soon as construction is complete, the company will kick-start its oil mining.
Step 3 – Production
Production is where the oil and gas sector remove any impurities from the oil they have just mined. The impurities include dirt, sand, sludge, water, and any other natural elements that are mixed with the oil.
Step 4 – Site Abandonment
This involves plugging the oil rig when the organisation is done with it. They will usually plug the well when it ran out of oil. Or when during the well development stage, they realised that there was no oil. So that leads to oil rig abandonment.
What Has Been Done With Oil Rig Abandonment?
In a recent finding by Bloomberg Green, it was reported that there are close to 30 million abandoned oil wells across the planet. Of the 30 million abandoned oil wells, 3 million are located in the United States. A lot of these abandoned oil wells leak methane, which is a dangerous form of gas that is harmful to us and our environment.
A lot of people especially in the oil and gas sector know that it is dangerous. However, there is very little to nothing that we can do. That means we are “cursed” with the oil rigs forever affecting our environment.
Anthony Ingraffea, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell who has studied leaks from oil and gas wells for many decades. He said that it’s less likely that our planet will recover anytime soon from the ordeal. “We really don’t have a handle on it yet. We’ve poked millions of holes thousands of feet into Mother Earth to get her goods, and now we are expecting her to forgive us?” he further says.
What Can We Substitute Oil and Gas For Energy?
This is a common question asked by many people, researchers, scholars, and civilians alike. There are a few suggestions, but here are some contenders:
- Nuclear power
- Solar power
- Wind power
Those are some of the main contenders currently put forward. However, not everyone agrees especially with the use of nuclear power. As nuclear power gives a strong sense of threat in being weaponised.
There are a lot of issues faced by the oil and gas sector. The abovementioned are just some of the issues. However, resolving the issues faced by the oil and has sector will take either a very long time or it may face 0 resolves at all.