The End of Magical Oil - National - The Atlantic:
Deepwater drilling had an improbable, unbelievable, giddy rise from its birth in 1993. Every well was pushing the envelope, either of depth in the water or the depth of the drillbit beneath the crust. "Every well I did was the deepest ever," an oil industry professional told me, yesterday. "I worked on 20 wells that set records. Every guy that did my job had worked on 20 wells that set records. We were sprinting, breaking records right and left. Everything they did had never been done before." For 17 years the deepwater rigs were jamming on the edge of the envelope.
And so now, we are not only faced with an extraordinarily large, frightening, and nearly unthinkable oil spill, we are also facing the end of magical oil. Like the financial crisis, there are physical issues to deal with now, but in the future there will be a crisis of confidence in the oil industry and in government's ability to regulate it. And at the same time, all of that new oil will not flow magically toward our shores, lubricating our lifestyle, allowing us to glide on without an explicit energy policy. We shouldn't kid ourselves that this is merely a large oil spill. It is much more.