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Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 20, No. 1, September 1977. Pages 2-2.

Abstract: U. S. and World Energy Outlook for the 1980's


Previous HitMTop. Ray Thomasson

The results of an assessment of energy supply and demand for the United States and the world to the year 1990 can be displayed as balanced volumetric energy flows disaggregated over the primary sources and major consuming sectors. On the national scene some of the projections and conclusions are: (1) between now and 1990 the world demand for oil will grow at 3.2% average annual increase (AAI), while U. S. primary oil consumption will grow at only 2.0% AAI; (2) most of the energy to be consumed in the U. S. over the projection period will be supplied as domestically produced fossil fuels; (3) oil imports will increase to about 10 million b/d throughout the decade of the 1980's, coming more and more from OPEC; (4) coal will supply an increasingly greater fraction of total U. S. energy consumption, primarily in the utility and industrial sectors; (5) new sources of energy will be developed, but before 1990 will have only a small impact on total supply; (6) nuclear power, although growing less vigorously than estimated in past projections, will be very important to the nation's economy; and (7) the successful balancing of long-term U. S. energy futures is contingent upon U. S. ability to achieve significant reductions in energy-consumption growth rates.

On the international scene it appears that: (1) the majority of the oil reserves are in communist countries and the Middle East; (2) over 60% of the gas reserves are in communist countries; (3) the same statement generally is true for coal reserves; (4) the U. S. will have to compete with the rest of the world for the available inter-regionally traded oil, and the U. S. can only obtain that oil at the expense of other countries; and (5) two scenarios in which 10 and 20 billion bbl of oil per year of new reserves are added indicate the following: Optimistically, a potential supply gap will occur in the late 1980's; pessimistically, a potential supply gap will occur in 1981. U. S. oil policy must accommodate these potential problems.

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