June 01, 2008

Fossil Reserves

Here is the figure of fossil fuel reserves we were shown Friday. The units are 'bnboe', billions of barrels of oil equivalent. Taking oil for example, if you divide how much we know we have (reserves) by the current rate of use (production), we will run out of oil in 41 years. Unless we find some more. Econophiles will point out that the price will go up before we run out slowing the rate of use and leading us to look for unconventional oil and shifting consumption to other alternatives. Nobody knows how much oil and gas there is that has not been found, but the rate of discovery has been declining since around 1970. Nobody has ever had to look for coal, and so nobody knows really how much more might be out there.This figure shows how much oil there is from different sources (x-axis) against the price of production (y-axis). As the price of oil goes up it becomes profitable to produce it in unconventional ways. The length of the red box ('cumulative needs to 2030') shows what the world requires for the next 22 years.

....we have plenty of energy, plenty of energy, take all you want....there's not that much we can do about greenhouse gases anyway...your eyes are getting heavy...



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