As gas prices continue to increase well above $4 per gallon, experts are gathering at UC Davis to explore possible ways to address the issues of gas and oil production. The UC Oil Forum is hosting a seminar open to the public today at 7 p.m. in 66 Roessler.
Oil is fairly plentiful but expensive to produce, and the United States is nearly at the national capacity for meeting demand right now, said David Osleger, UCD geology professor affiliated with the UC Oil Forum.
“There’s a lot of oil available, but the likelihood is we’re going to hit a peak in the next decade or so,” he said. “Then oil becomes more and more expensive to find, and gas becomes more rare and expensive.”
Costs are certainly going to rise, Osleger said.
About two-thirds of oil is found in the Middle East, and the largest reserves are in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and United Arab Emirates, he said. Currently, the largest oil producer is Russia.
It is very unlikely that more “supergiant” oil fields will be found in the future, Osleger said. There hasn’t been a major field discovered since the 1970s.
“There are oil pockets out there, but they’re in smaller pockets,” he said.
The UC Oil Forum is hosting the seminar in hopes of gaining “intelligent responses” to the situation, said John Theobald, founder of the forum.
A group of UC alumni created the organization in 2005.
“Our mission is to create awareness and promote dialogue about our energy situation, particularly on oil because it’s our most urgent problem,” he said.
The seminar will begin with a brief introduction presented by UCD seniors George Suarez and Tara Knapp. They will focus on the shortage of oil and energy sources and the need for alternative energy.
Following the introduction will be two key presentations by Ed Callaghan and Gergely Zimanyi.
Ed Callaghan is the executive director of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil – USA, a very prominent group with members often quoted on CNN and CNBC, Theobald said.
ASPO-USA is a nonpartisan effort to encourage energy management and constructive community transformation during an era of depleting petroleum resources, according to their mission statement.
At the seminar, Callaghan will give information about the organization as well as discuss a range of different possible responses to the current energy problem.
The second key speaker is UCD physics professor Gergely Zimanyi. Zimanyi is an expert on solar energy and is the leading researcher in developing new technologies for generating solar power.
Zimanyi’s presentation will be about the promise held by solar energy, Theobald said.
“He’s an expert scientist in a high end area, but he designed the message for a general audience to understand how energy works,” Theobald said. “It’s not just for science geeks.”
To attend the seminar, go to ucoilforum.org for free registration. More information about the event can also be found on the website.
THUY TRAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.