Will we run out of oil?

Oil is a non-renewable resource. That statement alone is sufficient to answer this question. Analysts are predicting that at the current rate of consumption as well as China’s hunt for an increased supply, the current oil reserves would not be enough to sustain us for the next fifty years. That being said, it is essential that all nations collaborate to reduce oil consumption and explore other sources of renewable energy.

As stated by Edmund Daukoru, Nigeria’s oil minister, “Everybody has a vested interest for price stability that is not excessive, but also allows forward investment” Oil plays a crucial part in economic development because of the fact that it fuels economic growth. The cost of oil can affect anything from employment rates, interest rates, daily living costs, and overall consumption. Brief, oil has a strong hold over the overall economic growth of any country. History has shown that fluctuations in oil prices have caused severe fluctuations in the economies of both producing and non-producing countries.As supply starts to exceed demand, it is only normal that prices will increase, leaving the oil market unstable, and the entire economy in shambles.

Canada, like many other countries, recognizes the need of energy conservation. Canada is already looking at other measures of diversifying its energy portfolio in hopes of reducing its reliance on oil. To that effect in July 2007, the Canadian government announced the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Initiative, “which would provide up to $1.5 billion in incentives over nine years to producers of renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel.” The ecoAuto Rebate Program is another incentive which offers Canadians rebates ranging from $1000-$2000 for the purchase or 12-month lease of a fuel efficient vehicle. Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta have implemented additional policies and incentives. As of 2006, ethanol must represent 7.5% of gasoline in Saskatchewan. These policies most likely affected the consumption of oil which as noted in Figure 3 below started declining as of 2007 and is forecasted to continue in the same direction.

Figure 3 Canada

Brief, increased measures and policies, and other sources of energy must be explored internationally in order to survive in a post-petroleum era.

Posted in economic development, energy, government policy, Uncategorized
2 comments on “Will we run out of oil?
  1. jeremy says:

    While there is still some debate surrounding the notion of ‘peak oil’. The fact oil companies are drilling for oil in places increasingly ill-suited for oil exploration suggests that if peak oil has not been reached, we are close to it. This animation provides an interesting metaphor for the consequences of peak oil:

  2. umangbali says:

    I read the comment by the Nigerian minister and what came to mind was a snippet of a report I saw last weekend on TF1 ( I believe) during a news report on the plight of some areas in Nigeria where oil spills have been abjectly neglected by the global oil firms drilling there. In fact, there was an interview of a person who used to be a fisherman and stated clearly that there hasn’t been fish in the river for over 10 years. As a result, to support his family he is relegated to chopping wood from the mangroves. The camera showed the utterly dismal efforts by the companies in their attempts to contain reach of the spills. The red buoyant booms were strewn aimlessly around the shore. The river bank was thick with oil sludge.

    One can not but ask the question as to why the authorities, worried about oil price stability are taking such a soft stance with the Big Oil and risking the future of their ecosystem?

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