How long will the Oil last?


| 3 Comments

This blog post comes inspired by something Dr. Read talked about in the first week of class.  Oil.  Oil is an interesting topic that affects every one of us every single day.  Whether it is gas prices, energy costs or prices at the grocery store, almost everything that you do is impacted by oil.  This makes it an interesting blog topic because it is particularly pertinent to each and every one of our lives.

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                The general consensus is that the world will never run out of oil completely, simply because it will eventually become too expensive to access compared to other energy alternatives.  Simply put, by the time the world's oil is running low, we won't want it anyway.  This WEBSITE is rather wordy but eventually gets to that point.  They also hypothesize based on a variety of studies that somewhere in between 2021 and 2112 we will surpass our peak production and begin to sharply decline.

Another SITE with information on why we will not run out of oil.

Why is the window of time so great?  Technology.  With the rapid improvements in technology nowadays it is has become very difficult, if not impossible to determine when the oil supply will run out.  There are many current estimates for how many "barrels" of oil are left but these estimates are very loose and nearly impossible to prove correct.  The  WORLDOMETERS website says that there are approximately 1.2 trillion barrels of oil left for us to collect.  This means that in approximately 15017 days, about 41 years, we will run out of oil.  So why am I saying that this is not an entirely accurate estimate? Because of the technology that has yet to be invented.  It is impossible to know exactly how much oil is left because we don't know how much more we will find.  We cannot know what the technology 30 years from now will be and how it will impact the oil supply.  Much of the world's oil that is currently inaccessible may be very easy to get to and extract.  Or maybe a new technology will allow us to find vast oil reserves that we never before knew about.  There are just too many variables for science to try to work out.

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This leads me to my final questions.  Is it worthwhile to try to determine how much oil left or should those resources be put to better use somewhere else?  How much effort should be put into trying to find new oil supplies when everyone agrees that eventually it will be too costly to access?  Will we be able to come up with enough new technology to either sustain the oil supply for centuries or find a new source of energy?  What happens if the estimates are incorrect and the end of oil is actually only a few years away? How will the world survive without oil?

3 Comments

I agree with your statement that we will never run out of oil. Not only are there many existing oil reserves that have not even come close to producing the maximum amount of oil that they could, there are many places that have not even been touched that have a ton of oil for us to extract. In fact, I believe that by the time all of the oil on the planet is gone, a substitute substance that has not even been conceived yet will be our main resource as oil is today.

I feel very similar to you Sean. I am not concerned about the future of oil at all. I too agree that sustainable renewable energy is much closer than the end of oil. Oil could take a hundred years or more to no longer be viable and with today's focus on renewable resources it will not take that long until these technologies are reasonably priced and available to everyone. Take a look at this website http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=001792
It is a pro/con chart to alternative energy. There are many opposing opinions throughout the article. Obviously, the "pro" people feel like reliable renewable energy is on the horizon, where the "con" people feel like it is overly expensive and not a viable option in the forseeable future. I hope that sometime soon we can make a major breakthough and show the world that renewable energy is here to stay and can be used all across the world.

This is a really interesting blog post. I have always wondered about how much oil we have left myself. However, I am in disagreement with a few things you stated. As much as I believe that as a nation, we should be focusing our resources on trying to find new ways to support our energy consumption, I also think as a nation we should be using less energy. If we were to do so, then oil wouldn't be an issue of our generation. If we utilized other ideas that other countries have been discussing, such as Switzerland which is working towards an Eco-Friendly Tax Reform by 2020 (or close to it), we would have people working harder to reduce their emessions. (Here's the article: http://www.go-green.ae/greenstory_view.php?storyid=2132. With this being said, until we can figure out what to do or how to implement enough green energy ideas such as wind (http://www.windturbines.net/) and water turbines (http://energy.gov/articles/turbines-nyc-east-river-will-provide-power-9500-residents)which we already are doing in different states across the nation. I actually got to witness this water turbine being installed. The fact that one can lead to 9,500 New York Residents' power is pretty incredible. Regardless of all of these advances thus far, I still think it is important that we know how much oil we have to work with. If we don't, we won't even have a rough estimate as to how much time we have before everything has to be set and ready to work. Granted, I agree with your point about possible technological advances, but fear that wating for more of those to happen before analyzing our situation is too risky.

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