Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World oil reserves at 'tipping point'

Date:
March 26, 2010
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
The world's capacity to meet projected future oil demand is at a tipping point, according to new research.

Oil rig. Capacity to meet projected future oil demand is at tipping point, according to new research.
Credit: iStockphoto

The world's capacity to meet projected future oil demand is at a tipping point, according to research by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University.

There is a need to accelerate the development of alternative energy fuel resources in order to ensure energy security and reduce emissions, says a paper just published in the journal Energy Policy.

The age of cheap oil has now ended as demand starts to outstrip supply as we head towards the middle of the decade, says the report. It goes on to suggest that the current oil reserve estimates should be downgraded from between 1150-1350 billion barrels to between 850-900 billion barrels, based on recent research. But how can potential oil shortages be mitigated?

Dr Oliver Inderwildi, Head of the Low Carbon Mobility centre at the Smith School, said: 'The common belief that alternative fuels such as biofuels could mitigate oil supply shortages and eventually replace fossil fuels is pie in the sky. There is not sufficient land to cater for both food and fuel demand. Instead of relying on those silver bullet solutions, we have to make better use of the remaining resources by improving energy efficiency. Alternatives such as a hydrogen economy and electric transportation are not mature and will only play a major role in the medium to long term.'

Nick Owen, from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, added: 'Significant oil supply challenges will be compounded in the near future by rising demand and strengthening environmental policy. Mitigating the oil crunch without using lower grade resources such as tar sands is the key to maintaining energy stability and a low carbon future.'

The Smith School paper also highlights that in the past, political and financial objectives have led to misreporting of oil reserves, which has led to contradictory estimates of oil reserve data available in the public domain.

Sir David King, Director of the Smith School, commented: 'We have to face up to a future of oil uncertainty much like the global economic uncertainty we have faced during the past two years. This challenge will have a longer term effect on our economies unless swift action is taken by governments and business. We all recognise that oil is a finite resource. We need to look at other low carbon alternatives and make the necessary funding available for research, development and deployment today if we are to mitigate the tipping point.'

The report also raises the worrying issue that additional demand for oil could be met by non-conventional methods, such as the extraction of oil from Canada's tar sands. However, these methods have a far higher carbon output than conventional drilling, and have been described as having a double impact on emissions owing to the emissions produced during extraction as well as during usage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Owen et al. The status of conventional world oil reserves--Hype or cause for concern? Energy Policy, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.02.026

Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "World oil reserves at 'tipping point'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324225511.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2010, March 26). World oil reserves at 'tipping point'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324225511.htm
University of Oxford. "World oil reserves at 'tipping point'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324225511.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 24, 2014) General Electric keeps quiet on reports it's in talks to buy French turbine and train maker Alstom. Ivor Bennett reports on what could be an embarrassing rumour for the French government, with business-friendly reforms proving a hard sell. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins