The first adequately conscious human being appeared on our planet 200,000 years ago. Some 80,000 years later, his ancestors learned how to use fire. Another 70,000 years past, they crafted the bow and arrow, 66,000 years after that, they invented literacy, an invention that accelerated and made key changes throughout history.
Since then evolution took an adverse course in the Mesopotamian region, as this invention belongs to the ancestors of the ISIS savages who destroy monuments of antiquity today, but otherwise, progress made seven-mile leaps: 5 thousand years passed from the invention of writing to the steam turbine, from the turbine to the automobile – 250 years, from the first car to the cellular phone – 94 years, from the phone to cloud technologies – 30 years. You get the picture, progress is picking up pace.
The energy sector is the steam locomotive of history, the steps in its evolution are becoming more grandiose by the century. The transition from wood to coal took mankind 120 thousand years, from coal to crude oil – 2 thousand years, from oil to gas it took 50 years, today, we're already using the energy generated by the sun and the wind.
What's our next step going to look like? The beginning of the 21st century marked a new era for the developement of various human activities, including oil and gas. It's evident, that in the near future we can look forward to another revolutionary leap.
Today, Russia takes on an important global role as the timely, high-quality energy carrier. Like they say, every profession is crucial. We can disregard political views and economic aspects; as neither good or bad. For oil refineries to function, thousands of Indian nationals manually assemble fine-grade catalytic converters. For Germany to spend billions on R&D of technologies, Russia needs to supply it with gas. At some point this seemed normal. Today, on the other hand, this arrangement seems unviable. Manual labour is being replaced by robots, whilst crude oil by renewable energy sources.
So why did declining oil prices become the economic highlight this spring? Because the age of carbohydrates will prevail very long. Although, time does change their role. Instead of being an energy source, they can become the raw material for high-tech products. Now is the time to consider shifting to a new phase that will grant us unlimited possibilities for the third millennium to come.
In your hands, you hold the 100th edition since the establishment of the publication. Particularly the evenness of this figure has served as the motivation to an overall generalisation. In the pages to follow, you will come across articles dedicated to novel technologies as well as references to a world in the not-so-distant past. These comparisons presented in parallel with the rapidly changing present, provide the most vivid image of where science is going to take us, as well as, where the key points of economic development will be centered.
Author: Anna Pavlikhina, chief editor of Neftegaz.RU magazine