I believe that oil shale and oil sands would be the focus in the near future, because of its economic feasibility and the abundance of oil shale in the world as a natural resource compared to sweet crude oil. Political instability in the middle east will also drive oil shale and oil sand production up. 

For the far future, I suspect that we shall abandon hydrocarbons entirely. As a planet, we will not rely on one source of energy. Rather, we will build the infrastructure to generate energy from the most economical source within our political and geographical reach (geothermal, hydrogen, fusion, etc). The reason behind this conclusion is that our plant does not have the one source of energy that will satisfy our energy needs (ie. like oil at the present). Therefore, we will pool together the source of energy that we can gather to meet those needs.

This outlook of the future will create a new energy market, assuming by that point in time an economical solution for energy storage will be developed. As some groups will be able to generate energy cheaper than other, arbitrage opportunities arises.

 

THE MAG