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Pro   Con

Oil is concentrated, fairly clean, easily handled and easily stored.1

Efficient, widespread production transportation and marketing systems for oil are in place.2

Oil is versatile in its end uses.3

Oil's stored energy is easily released.4

Oil is easily extracted.5


The world's oil reserves are finite and depleting rapidly.6

The oil supply is unstable due to political factors.7

The world's oil reserves are unevenly distributed, and absent in many places.8

The use of oil causes air and water pollution.9

Oil production is becoming increasingly expensive.10

AMA Commentary

As long as adequate supplies of oil are available at reasonable prices, it has many advantages over other energy sources.11 However, since the early 1970's the global oil market has been plagued by price and supply instabilities.12

One of the most serious problems associated with heavy oil consumption is the world's dependence on OPEC countries (where almost 100 percent of the world's excess production capacity is situated) for the resource.13

Oil combustion produces the same environmental liabilities as those produced by the combustion of all fossil fuels; air and water pollution.14

For the generation of electricity worldwide over the next decade, nuclear power, coal and gas are expected to play more prominent roles than oil.15

1 Gander and Belaire, op. cit., p. 87.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Gabel, op. cit., p. 79.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Energy Security, op. cit., pp. 38-39.
12 Ibid. pp. 17-32.
13 Ibid. p. 27.
14 Holden, op. cit., p. 140.
15 Energy Security, op. cit., p. 39.