Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2041: No oil, no replacement

Oil to run out 100 years before replacements become viable, study claims
Agence France-Presse: The world will run out of oil around 100 years before replacement energy sources are available if oil use and development of new fuels continue at the current pace, a US study warns.

In the study, researchers at the University of California, Davis used the current share prices of oil companies and alternative energy companies to predict when replacement fuels will be ready to fill the gap left when oil runs dry. And the findings weren't very good for the oil-hungry world.

If the world's oil reserves were the 1.332 trillion barrels they were estimated to be in 2008 and oil consumption was some 85.22 million barrels a day and growing at 1.3 percent a year, oil would be depleted by 2041, says the study, published online in Environmental Science and Technology...

But by plugging current stock market prices into a complex equation, UC-Davis engineering professor Debbie Niemeier and postdoctoral researcher Nataliya Malyshkina calculated that a viable alternative fuel to oil won't be available before the middle of the next century.

The answer they came up with was that there would not be a widely available replacement for oil-based fuels before 2140, which, even if the more optimistic date of 2054 for oil depletion is retained, would mean there could be a nearly 90-year gap...

The calculations used by the researchers are based on the theory that long-term investors are good predictors of when new technologies will become commonplace.
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