Oil Reserves in UAQ
The quantity of liquefied natural gas reserves at UAQ ...
The Future of Oil
Oil was first discovered in the U.S. in 1859. At the...
   The Future of Oil

Oil was first discovered in the U.S. in 1859. At the beginning of the 20th century it supplied only 4% of the world's energy; decades later it became the most important energy source.
Today oil supplies about 40% of the world's energy and 96% of its transportation energy. Since the shift from coal to oil, the world has consumed over 875 billion barrels. Another 1,000 billion barrels of proved and probable reserves remain to be recovered.

From now to 2020, world oil consumption will rise by about 60%. Transportation will be the fastest growing oil-consuming sector. By 2025, the number of cars will increase to well over 1.25 billion from approximately 700 million today. Global consumption of gasoline could double.

The two countries with the highest rate of growth in oil use are China and India, whose combined populations account for a third of humanity. In the next two decades, China's oil consumption is expected to grow at a rate of 7.5% per year and India's 5.5%. (Compare to a 1% growth for the industrialized countries). It will be strategically imperative for these countries to secure their access to oil.


    Where are the reserves?

Proved oil reserves are those quantities of oil that geological information indicates can be with reasonable certainty recovered in the future from known reservoirs. Of the trillion barrels currently estimated, 6% are in North America, 9% in Central and Latin America, 2% in Europe, 4% in Asia Pacific, 7% in Africa, 6% in the Former Soviet Union. Today, 66% of global oil reserves are in the hands of Middle Eastern regimes: Saudi Arabia (25%), Iraq (11%), Iran (8%), UAE (9%), Kuwait (9%), and Libya (2%).

Following 9/11 and in light of the rise of radical Islam many have called for reduction of the dependency on Middle East oil. To offset the growing influence of Middle East producers, non-OPEC countries in Africa and Former Soviet Union have increased their production considerably. Many have even suggested that Russia could take on OPEC and help shift global oil supply away from the Middle East. The Washington Post even claimed that Moscow is "on its way to becoming the next Houston—the global capital of energy." And indeed, Russia's oil production increased to the point that it became the second largest exporter behind Saudi Arabia. But Russia's prospects of being a key player in the oil market in the long run are dim. Russia ranks seventh in proven oil reserves, holding only 5%. Its oil production peaked around 1999 and its reserves have been steadily declining since. That means that at current production rates, Russia will be out of the running by 2020.
Washington's search for reliable oil suppliers outside the Middle East has brought about an oil boom in many African countries like Angola, Nigeria, Guinea and Chad. But like Russia, Africa is hardly a bonanza. Its total reserves amount to 7% and its largest producer, Nigeria , will peak by the end of the decade. Africa will be out of the running by 2025.

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