NEWS ARCHIVE

Is the global tank down to half full?

Best to fill up the tank while you can, apparently we could be in short supply sooner than we think.

Is the global tank down to half full?

A group of Swedish scientists has estimated that the world's oil reserves are up to 80% less than predicted, only 3,500 billion barrels - down from the previously thought 18,000 billion barrels, with production levels to peak in about 10 years' time.

Apparently oil production levels will hit their maximum not long after 2010 with gas supplies peaking soon afterwards, according to the geologists from Sweden's University of Uppsala. Previous studies have predicted oil supplies will not start falling until 2050.

Naturally there is an upside and a downside to the prediction. If it is true the downside is that we can expect petroleum related products to soar in price creating unstable economic and political climates around the world, from the export dependent producers to the import dependent developed countries.

However, the upside is that the lack of hydrocarbons to burn will solve any future emissions problems such as the hole in the ozone layer, melting ice caps, climbing temperatures and any future support from the energy sector for a third generation of the Bush clan to move into the white house.

The standard line of predictions of a global meltdown by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resulted in the controversial 1997 Kyoto Protocol to cut CO2 emissions. The IPCC also maintains that there is between 5,000 and 18,000 billion barrels left in storage.

Either way, it's not time to set the windmill up in the backyard just yet. Come to think of it, didn't James Bond have a car that ran on seawater?

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