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Mr. Schlansker,

Regarding gas and oil shortages in the short and longer term, you might also be interested in:

(1) this review from the Sunday NYTimes Book Review of a book on the future of oil and gas supplies, by David Goodstein, a physicist who is also vice provost of the California Institute of Technology:

"In 1956, Marion King Hubbert, a geophysicist with the Shell Oil Company, predicted that oil production in the United States would peak sometime around 1970. His superiors at Shell dismissed the prediction, as did most others in the oil business. But he was right. Hubbert's peak occurred within a few years of when he said it would, and American oil production has been declining ever since. There was no crisis, because this country tapped the world's reserves, and the supply increased along with demand.

"Now Goodstein and many others have shown that the same methods, when applied to global oil production and resources, predict a Hubbert's peak in world oil supplies within this decade, or, in the best-case scenarios, sometime in the next. Once that happens, the world supply of oil will begin to decline gradually, even though large quantities of oil will remain in the ground. The world demand for oil will continue to increase. The gap between supply and demand will grow. But this time the gap will be real; there will be no other source of oil (from the moon, Neptune or Pluto?) to flow into the system."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/08/books/review/08RAEBURT.html ;

and (2) some of the articles by Andrew Weissman of the Energy Ventures Group, especially the 3-part article on "Puncturing Natural Gas Myths" and the earlier articles on "Shock and Awe about to Hit the Natural Gas and Power Markets, found at the EnergyPulse website: http://www.energypulse.net/centers/author.cfm?at_id=114