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Irish Times Report

In: Science

Submitted By kumar88
Words 366
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Oil reserves to run dry by 2036
Fri, May 9, 1997, 01:00
Dick Ahlstrom

GLOBAL oil reserves will be gone by 2036 and the economic and social implications of this demand serious planning by world governments now, according to a US researcher.
Difficulties will come much sooner, however, as producer countries reach their peak output levels and oil production declines in the face of growing demand, argues Dr Craig Bond Hatfield of the department of geology at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
"Global oil production will peak and begin its decline during the first or second decade of the 21st century," he writes in the current issue of the science journal, Nature. "Despite the intensive, inter-governmental debates on the environmental effects of energy policies, geological constraints on the amount of (oil) that can be produced will soon override governments' decisions about future rates of fossil-fuel burning."
US production peaked in 1970 and has been in decline since, and Russian production fell after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Growth in North Sea, Latin American and Asian production just offsets the US and Russian decline, but geological data indicate that this group "will remain incapable of significant, sustained growth and is likely to begin a permanent decline" in production early in the 21st century.
The 16 per cent growth in global oil consumption between 1985 and 1995, from 59.7 million to 69 million barrels a day, was therefore "supplied almost entirely by an increase in oil production by members of OPEC", Dr Hatfield writes. But these countries will also be approaching their production peaks between 2010 and 2015, he argues, after which production rates will fall as the amount of oil remaining in the ground dwindles.
OPEC currently produces about 25 million barrels a day and has an estimated production capacity of about 29 million barrels…...

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