Keep on Shining and Keep on Pumping
(fingers crossed behind back)
Occasionally, we hear rumblings and some genuine concern about questions like this one and others seen here: “How much longer will the oil last?”
Here's what one big oil producer, BP, had to say about that, in part:
Eventually, we will run out of oil. It takes at least 10 million years, specific geological processes and a mass extinction of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures to create crude oil — making it the definition of a nonrenewable resource. But it's impossible to tell exactly when we will run out of oil, since we can't look into the Earth's mantle to see just how much is left.
BP said that we've got plenty of oil left, according to its Statistical Review of World Energy published in June 2008. In that report, the company said that the world has as many as 1,238 billion barrels of oil in proved reserves.
That would equal about 40 years of uninterrupted oil supply — just from oil pumped from the ground and held in reserve alone. These data were compiled from reported reserves from nations around the globe and oil consortiums like OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
At the same time, BP's report invited a hail of criticism from oil industry observers, who waved off BP's data as unfounded.