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Study: World Will Run Out of Oil In 2041

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The world will have to make do without oceans of black gold.

That’s right, we’re going to run out of oil around 100 years before replacement energy sources are available, if oil use and development of new fuels continue at the current pace, according to a new study.

Specifically, researchers at the University of California, Davis used the current share prices of oil companies and alternative energy companies to estimate when replacement fuels will be ready to fill the gap left when oil runs dry.

The AFP summarizes the tough conclusions of the study: If the world’s oil reserves were the 1.332 trillion barrels estimated in 2008 and oil consumption stood at 85.22 million barrels a day and growing yearly at 1.3 percent, oil would be depleted by 2041.

Furthermore, their calculations show that there would not be a widely available replacement for oil-based fuels before 2140. Even if the more optimistic date of 2054 for oil depletion is used, there would still be a gap of around 90 years when it could be tough to take a drive in the family car.

Dennis Gartman, editor of the The Gartman Letter, isn’t circling 2041 on his calendar, however. The longtime trader told his loyal readers that he isn’t buying what these professors at Davis are selling.

For one, he notes, the report presupposes that there will be no further discoveries of crude oil anywhere in the world, and that demand will continue to rise 1.3% ad infinitum.

“Someone should swiftly tell Petrobras that there is no crude to be found off the coast of Brazil, and that which they’ve been finding is apparently a chimera,” Gartman wrote. “Someone should tell everyone associated with the Athabasca tar sands that the sands are about to run dry, and someone should tell all of those working in the Baaken and other energy rich areas of North America that their attempts to find more energy are ephemeral if not wholly impossible.”

He concluded, “The Peak Oil folks are wailing with joy, while the folks responsible for finding and then drilling for oil and nat-gas are busy doing their jobs."
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.