There is a lot of oil left. I have taken several classes on environmental science at a reputable university and still couldn’t find any consensus on how much exactly is left. Some estimates say we will not run out of oil even if our consumption increases for another 200 years. Others say it will become exorbitantly expensive in less than 100 years. As we continue the shift towards other renewable sources of energy, oil will become nearly unnecessary. We will no longer be concerned about running out, once we reduce our dependence on it.
The Hubbert Curve which predicted a peak in oil demand has been deemed too simple a prediction. We have methods of mining oil from places we don’t use as of now (extracting oil from oil shale, tar sands, even synthesized from coal). They will become cost effective as prices rise. In my opinion we have enough oil for several generations going with the current trend and assuming population growth eventually becomes more stabilized.
We can supply ourselves with oil probably for centuries – but not at the levels of consumption currently in place. It will be pretty amazing if the world, or even just the US, can sustain current consumption levels for even 10 more years.
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