Oil and gas are some of the most important sources of energy on the planet and their availability is an immense factor as far as economic conditions are concerned. Oil represents about 40% of the globe's entire primary energy demand, while natural gas is beginning to have more and more uses, although its utilization has not met quite optimal considerations in the past The general estimation is that the recoverable oil underneath the earth surface is of 2,330 billion barrels. An oil and gas study (Peack Oil by Colin Campbel, 1999) shows that out of the amount mentioned before, up to 90% labeled as discovered and approximately 50% produced.
The same study shows that, today, the world consume reaches 4 barrels for each new one discovered. This means that there is a production of about 22 barrels per year, while only six enter the area of those discovered. It is thus obvious that there is quite a big gap between consumption and discovery and that this gap is continuously widening as oil turns from a surplus to a deficit status. A later study mentions that if the report between productions and consuming remains the same, there might be resources for only another one hundred years left.
The major oil and gas reserve locates in the Middle East and it represents about 65%. It is thus apparent that the distribution is not quite equitable and that consumption and production have a large gap separating them. Research has shown that North America, Far East, Oceania and Western Europe are the biggest consumers of oil, using about 77% of which they only produce 44.4% representing only 12.5% of the world's reserves. On the other hand, the Middle East generates 30% of the world's reserves and consumes only 6%.
There are a number of organizations formed in order to protect the exploitation of oil and natural gas. These organizations have as one of their main prerogatives to keep the influence of gas and oil under control as far as economical conditions are concerned. Natural gas started to become more important as soon as the concerns about the diminishing amount of energy reserves have increased. These concerns as well as the ones regarding environmental hazards are putting more and more pressure on industries required to use a higher percentage of natural gas instead of using other sources of energy. In order to make this official and to guarantee the compliance with its requirements, the legislation introduced developed at an international level. These new laws should control the operators.
In this manner, many countries in the world are trying to use more natural gas, especially in the domestic environment. Most countries replace the use of oil with the one of gas in order to increase their exports or to reduce the amount of oil imported. The infrastructure for natural gas has experienced great development in most developed countries and gas has become a major focus for exploration. Most countries are trying to use as much natural gas as they can produce, however the countries in Western Europe are some of the largest consumers and depend on other countries to supply their need.
Thus, many Eastern European countries very much rely on Russia, for example, to supply for their need of natural gas.
Oil and gas form a mandatory component for the proper functioning of our society. The resources of natural gas can become quite problematic as the gap between production and consumption is getting wider every year.