What will happen to global coporations once cheap oil is a thing of the past?
This is an economic question that has worried many people. Yes. We want to be more independent of oil. So what will corporations do when they can't sell it? The same thing they are doing now. Keep selling it.
Where the Money is in Oil
Most people think that all of the money made by oil companies is for oil used by automobiles. Although this makes up a large portion of this income, and equally large portion is made from petroleum based products, or anything made of plastic.
Americans in general have an obsession with plastic and have since we stopped using so much Styrofoam. The products that use plastics are so vast, that there is virtually a never ending supply of products to produce and, therefore money to be made. Vehicles will still need oil to lubricate moving parts. Anything that is machined will need lubrication and we still have no substitute that works as well as oil and probably never will. Did I mention that most of a car body is now made of plastic?
Crude oil is cheap because it has not gone through the refinement process. Once it goes through the process, it has very little profit attached to it. The processes and shipment of materials along with cargo taxes have made crude oil a more valuable commodity on the open market, but not in the actual market place. This process could be improved upon in efficiency and cost effectiveness in the future, actually making it less expensive than it is now.
There are some who talk of oil shortages when the largest well in the Middle East will not dry up for at least another 50 years. Man kind has supposedly only tapped about 1/4 of the worlds know oil and the us uses 10 million gallons of oil a day by itself!
Global corporations and exploratory drilling partnerships will have oil to drill for as long as they need. This issue is not something that will come about in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. We will just have to learn to use oil wisely and continue to respect that it is a resource that could someday disappear.