The world will run out of oil around 100 years before replacement energy sources are available if oil use and development of new fuels continue at the current pace, a US study warns.
In the study, researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) used the current share prices of oil companies and alternative energy companies to predict when replacement fuels will be ready to fill the gap left when oil runs dry.
And the findings weren’t very good for the oil-hungry world.
If the world’s oil reserves were the 1.332 trillion barrels they were estimated to be in 2008 and oil consumption was some 85.22 million barrels a day and growing at 1.3 percent a year, oil would be depleted by 2041, says the study published online last week in Environmental Science and Technology.
But by plugging current stock market prices into a complex equation, UC-Davis engineering professor Debbie Niemeier and postdoctoral researcher Nataliya Malyshkina calculated that a viable alternative fuel to oil won’t be available before the middle of next century.
The researchers analyzed the share prices of 25 oil companies quoted on US, European and Australian stock exchanges, and of 44 alternative energy companies.
They found that the market capitalization, or total value of all stock shares, of traditional oil companies far outstripped that of the alternative energy companies.
That indicated that investors believe oil is going to do well in the near future and occupy a larger share of the energy market than alternative energy, said Malyshkina.