Time to Dump the Pump? BP Says We Have 53.3 Years of Oil Left

Here at Transport Evolved, we’re pretty pro-electric car. (You may have noticed.) Actually, we’re all about future car technology, regardless of its fuel type. To us, future car technology means technology that not only eliminates our need for fossil fuels, but makes our cars smarter and easier to use.

Is it time to only use the gas station for snacks?

Is it time to only use the gas station for snacks?

For us, that drive is partly due to environmental concerns, and partly due to the knowledge that our current system of mass fossil-fuel consumption isn’t sustainable. But if our say so isn’t enough, perhaps it’s time to listen to global oil company BP, which warns that we only have 53.3 years of oil reserves left at current consumption rates.

In its latest report, BP says it estimates a total of 1,687.9 billion barrels of oil remain in the world, with a larger than previously thought 44.2 billion barrels of oil reserves in the U.S. alone.

While this has pushed the number of years’ reserve up, a large majority of the increased U.S. oil reserves are located in shale rock formations. Controversial at best and banned in many areas around the world, obtaining shale oil requires hydraulic fracturing of rocks (known as fracking.) Worse still, fracking is known to cause a myriad of health issues, including heavily polluted ground water, increased erosion and metallic pollution.

As our friends over at GreenCarReports note however, the problem isn’t just related to getting oil out of the ground in a safe and healthy way. It’s also about satiating the oil-consumption appetite of countries like China, whose massive industrial boom is consuming fossil fuels at an alarming rate.

Nozzie has just 53.3 years to carry on dispensing petrol.

Nozzie has just 53.3 years to carry on dispensing petrol.

Worse still, Asian oil reserves are limited to just 14 years at current production rates.

It’s a stark and simple warning. Once it’s all used up, there won’t be any more oil any time soon. And if your children are at junior school, the chances are they’ll be around to see the end of oil.

As for those sad gas pumps? Here’s what they could end up doing. It’s time to start looking for an alternative, don’t you think?


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  • Question is how much more fossil fuel(s) can be saetly burnt. At issue is not that fossils can be taken out of the ground, but what happens to fossil compounds and the various hazardous components once its accessible. nnThe surface of the Earth is a living organism, it’s not so easy to remove and return something to a prior state once consumed. If you disagree, let’s see that last banana you eat?

  • Surya

    Sorry BP, you can keep your oil. I stopped using oil to heat my home in January, I am on a 100% locally produced green energy plan and I haven’t been to a gas station in 5 weeks. Life is good without oil, I can tell you that!

  • D. Harrower

    Their estimates are also probably based on the current rate of consumption. With heavily-populated countries like China and India becoming more industrialized, I’d be surprised if we have 20 years of oil remaining. And the last 5-10 of those years are going to wreak tremendous environmental damage as we try to extract the remaining oil. I doubt even fraking will be adequate for this. Some new, undiscovered (and likely environmentally destructive) technique will be required.