Why the world is not about to run out of oil

To reduce the hype and fear if not the burden, the Economist writes a thorough examination of the upcoming energy options we face that reveals several facts beyond the headlines and frenzy.

“For years a small group of geologists has been claiming that the world has started to grow short of oil, that alternatives cannot possibly replace it and that an imminent peak in production will lead to economic disaster.

In recent months this view has gained wider acceptance on Wall Street and in the media. Recent books on oil have bewailed the threat. Every few weeks, it seems, “Out of Gas”, “The Empty Tank” and “The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel”, are joined by yet more gloomy titles.”

But is the world really starting to run out of oil?

And would hitting a global peak of production necessarily spell economic ruin?

Both questions are arguable.

“Governments may decide to shift away from petroleum because of its nasty geopolitics or its contribution to global warming. But it is wrong to imagine the world’s addiction to oil will end soon, as a result of genuine scarcity.”

There you have it.
We only need to worry about ‘synthetic scarcity’.