In one sentence: Some other energy source, perhaps fusion, will provide our energy needs before we actually use up all the oil.
That is my summary of the comments by Professor Bernard Weinstein in a presentation made in North Dakota, as summarized by The Dickinson Press: Energy expert: World will ‘never run out of oil’.
We simply do not know how much oil is recoverable. Check out these two comments:
“We’ll never run out of oil,” … “There are five factors that go into the amount of oil that’s available: geology, technology, price, capital and policy. “
“We don’t really know how much shale oil and gas is recoverable because the numbers keep going up.”
As technology improves, as geologists learn more about the current fields, and as new fields are discovered & explored, more oil is counted as recoverable.
Here’s how the professor explains his conclusion we will never run out of oil:
“Will we ever have a peak shale level?” Weinstein asked. “I don’t know. There very well could be but by the time that happens, we’re going to have fusion or something else in the place of fossil fuels. A hundred years from now, we probably won’t be using much in the way of fossil fuels. Certainly for the next century, we have plenty of fossil fuels around the world under any scenario.”
That gets back to the technology issue. Just like the nearly one million barrels a day of production from Bakken wasn’t known a decade or two ago, we don’t know what the next round of technology will produce. He believes that something we don’t even know about will replace all the oil we are using a long time before we actually start draining the bottom of every single oil field in existence.
It is hard to get my brain around the idea we won’t ever run out of oil. But it makes sense the more I read and learn. Something else will replace oil before we run out of oil.