This is a debate and discussion that have surrounded the petroleum industry ever since the industrial power of oil emerged in the mid-1800s. Now to be clear, what follows is not a political stance or propaganda from some oil company. It is simply educational. If we as an industry are more educated, then we can have a more intelligent, open-minded conversation on this issue.
Is Oil a Finite Resource?
If we define “finite” as “a limited amount; a defined amount,” then, as we’ll see, oil is not quite the finite resource most believe it to be. In fact, as a fuel, it can hyper-technically qualify as “renewable,” though at a snail’s pace, relatively speaking. And therein lies the rub: though oil is continuously being created by the same processes in the earth that have been generating it for millions of years, that rate is infinitesimal compared to the rate at which the world is consuming it. Consider a lake draining into the ocean, while a faucet is filling the lake. And that’s just a snapshot of oil’s “creation versus consumption” conundrum.
For the bigger picture, watch this video and let the discussion begin.