ANSWERS: 3
  • Will the world ever physically run out of crude oil? No, but only because it will eventually become very expensive in absence of lower-cost alternatives. In any event, the world production peak for conventionally reservoired crude is unlikely to be "right around the corner" as so many other estimators have been predicting. Our analysis shows that it will be closer to the middle of the 21st century than to its beginning. http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/feature_articles/2004/worldoilsupply/oilsupply04.html Alternative sources of power Coal There are still an estimated 909 billion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide, enough to last at least 155 years. But coal is a fossil fuel and a dirty energy source that will only add to global warming. Natural gas The natural gas fields in Siberia, Alaska and the Middle East should last 20 years longer than the world's oil reserves but, although cleaner than oil, natural gas is still a fossil fuel that emits pollutants. It is also expensive to extract and transport as it has to be liquefied. Hydrogen fuel cells Hydrogen fuel cells would provide us with a permanent, renewable, clean energy source as they combine hydrogen and oxygen chemically to produce electricity, water and heat. The difficulty, however, is that there isn't enough hydrogen to go round and the few clean ways of producing it are expensive. Biofuels Ethanol from corn and maize has become a popular alternative to oil. However, studies suggest ethanol production has a negative effect on energy investment and the environment because of the space required to grow what we need. Renewable energy Oil-dependent nations are turning to renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric, solar and wind power to provide an alternative to oil but the likelihood of renewable sources providing enough energy is slim. Nuclear Fears of the world's uranium supply running out have been allayed by improved reactors and the possibility of using thorium as a nuclear fuel. But an increase in the number of reactors across the globe would increase the chance of a disaster and the risk of dangerous substances getting into the hands of terrorists. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/world-oil-supplies-are-set-to-run-out-faster-than-expected-warn-scientists-453068.html
  • Love Doggies answer! Shale popped into my head first. But it's expensive to extract, like the natural gas. Our city busses use natural gas. We're on nuclear electricity here..
  • Hundreds of years - there are still many hundreds of undug oil wells. Oil price like gold price is not so much pushed and pulled by availability. Rather it's "speculators" who are pricing according to supply ability.

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