Oil is the life blood that is pumped though our modern world, without it we could not fly to popular holiday destinations, travel to work in the comfort of our vehicles or maybe even watch this video on YouTube, plus many more little perks of modern life. We rely on oil to power many applications within our lives and as of early 2015, the IEA Oil Market Report forecast the average demand would be 34 billion barrels of oil for the year. At this rate, how long can we go on pumping oil out of the ground without exhausting our supplies?
Were does it come from-
Oil is formed according to a leading theory, by dead organic material accumulating at the bottom of the oceans, riverbeds or swamps. Over time this material was gradually covered by sediment, Millions of years of this process caused the sediment to grow heavier and heavier, resulting heat and pressure which transforms the organic layer into a dark and waxy substance known as kerogen. Some types of kerogen gradually changed in to oil or natural gas and collectively these are known as hydrocarbons or fossil fuels. This process according to scientists probably takes at least a million years.
How much is left-
According to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, there are 1.3 trillion barrels of proven oil reserve left in the world’s major fields, which at present rates of consumption should last 40 years. This has meant that governments and oil companies have been forced to look for sources of oil in more difficult locations, such as the deep-sea. However this requires intensive and costly processing. The challenge facing engineers is extracting the oil and gas from these deep locations. At present much of it is so difficult to get at that it actually takes more energy to extract it than it gives back in use. So there is plenty more oil available, it’s just really hard to get to and find.
What will happen to the world-
Some peak oil theorists believe that we have already passed the point of maximum oil production, what is clear is that oil is getting harder to find and extract, and this is reflected in rising prices. Those price increases encourage users to decrease consumption and inventors to create alternatives. Most likely, petrol and diesel use will disappear by legal mandate once a clearly superior alternative is developed. But what if a superior alternative isn’t developed? What if we run out of oil, natural gases and run out of time to build nuclear power plants. What if we run out of energy to fuel our modern society’s? What will happen to man kind?
Well life as we know it would come to an end. All the everyday items made from oil would no longer be produced, Virtually all transport would stop and so would nearly all manufacturing.
This would result in Food production coming to a halt, millions would freeze in colder climates and masses of people would be unemployed, meaning that they could not purchase the increasing costly price of the most basic foods. Eventually millions upon millions would starve to death.
However, thanks to extremely clever and persistent inventors, there are many other replacement energy technologies that are being used and are being developed. Hopefully, by the time we do finally run out of oil, then we will already have a superior alternative to the black gold.