BP Estimates The World Has just 53.3 Years Of Oil Left


lonely-oil-rigBig Oil companies know better than most just how much oil is left in the world. The thing is, can you really trust an industry whose own estimates vary widely depending on the year and economic climate?

USA Today reports that the latest BP global oil reserve estimates gives the world just 53.3 years of easy energy left. After that, the crystal ball gets fuzzy. How much oil is left in the world?

These estimates are actually 1.1% more than last year, thanks in part to growing estimates of American shale oil. Of course keep in mind that the oil industry is regularly growing or shrinking estimated energy reserves, with California’s Monterey Shale having its reserves downgraded some 96%. There’s also suspicion that countries like Saudi Arabia are outright lying about how much crude they actually have left. So yeah. Skepticism.

53 years sounds like awhile, right? Well not really, but the bigger problem is that, as humanity reaches the last of its oil reserves, without an adequate energy transition in place, some countries could be caught flat-footed. That’s why the innovation of electric cars and other alternatives are crucial to develop right now.

The high gas prices and regional conflicts will begin long before the last drop of oil is extracted, and if the world isn’t ready, things will get really ugly really fast.


About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • European

    The oil can be made of coal, natural gas, wood, flowers,… so we will never run out of oil. The only question remains when it will become too expensive and other technologies cheaper.

    • Steve Hanley

      Actually, the only question is whether the human race will continue to prostitute the Earth to feed its pathological addiction to oil. Perhaps you somehow remain blissfully unaware of the environmental disasters that result from coal mining, fracking and tar sands oil production?

      Even though bio-fuels offer some promise, the world needs to uncouple itself from fossil fuel dependency of all types. And soon!

      • Well said.

      • European

        What made you think I am pro fossil fuels? I just want to stress how oil companies are trying to make us share their fear of runnig out of cheap oil.

        • Steve Hanley

          Quick comments on a website such as this often do not allow a complete understanding of the poster’s position. My response was based on the general sense I got from your words. My apologies if I misinterpreted your meaning.

          Surely the companies that grow fat off the extraction and sale of oil have little incentive to go against their self interest by doing anything as rational as telling the truth!

          • So very well said, Steve – but don’t let “context” and “open-mindedness” stop you from letting expletives fly! (that’s what the internet is for … also: porn)

          • topkill

            LMAO!!! Thank you! I really needed the laugh 🙂

          • Steve Hanley

            Oh, I have another identity I use when I want to be a complete jerk. ; )

    • You must not understand that oil *IS* more expensive, and is the single most subsidized resource on the planet – and that’s not even counting the medical and health costs!

      • topkill

        Now you’re hitting on the hidden elephant in the room (on the planet). The subsidies, tax advantages and the costs for health and environmental issues is incredible. And all of that ignores the military costs to and what that has brought to our doorstep. How much money, how many military bases, how much cost for “Homeland Security”, how many freedoms do we have to give up because of terrorists?
        Had Nixon not made that deal with the Shah of Iran to try and secure a “steady supply of oil” to the US, Had every President since not gotten us involved in some kind of crap over there, then we’d be in a very different place.
        I hope osama bin-laden got his balls cut off and had bacon grease shoved up his ass before they pissed in that bullet hole in his dead skull. But his crazy ass didn’t look at a map one day and say: “Self…I hate the way that American country looks on a map…let’s kill them”. Nope. He hated us because we had troops over there in the middle east and made deals with one set of dictators after another to keep getting oil.
        If we weren’t there. he would have dedicated his crazy ass to killing other muslims for whatever religious crap they like to kill each other for. NOT OUR PROBLEM.
        But as we’re addicted to oil…it IS our problem and we spend our money and our kid’s lives to keep it flowing.

        • Steve Hanley

          Read your response three times looking for something I could disagree with. Didn’t find anything.

          Well done, sir. ; )

  • If the f***wits at BP told me the sky was blue, I’d ask for more sources. F*** BP. F*** their stockholders, employees, advertisers, and supporters at home and abroad. The world would be better off if they all drowned.

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