Sunday, May 29, 2005

Crude Awakening: Struggling to keep a lid on oil crisis

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"John D. Rockefeller's Cleveland refineries launched the Oil Age.

A superhighway in China may end it.

Almost 150 years ago, barges plied the Cuyahoga River ferrying black gold for oil lamps. There was no turning back. Cheap, plentiful crude would power cars, mold plastics, birth the suburbs and grease the path to a prosperous American century.

Much of today's world slides along that same industrialized path. A 52,000-mile superhighway system is under construction in China. Millions of prospering Chinese browse auto showrooms looking for a new lifestyle based on crude.

But recent spikes at gas pumps worldwide hint that, for the first time, oil won't come cheap. Analysts and traders alike suspect we are on the verge of demanding more oil than we can produce.

Prices hover around $50 per barrel despite a global effort to pump more oil. Producers try to squeeze more out of old wells, scour the Earth for undiscovered fields and develop technologies to process thick heavy crude that's harder to refine.".......(continued in link above)

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