Energy: Is the world running out of oil?

State oil company Petrobras drills for oil off the coast of Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro (photo: dpa)
State oil company Petrobras drills for oil off the coast of Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro (photo: dpa)

How close is the world to depleting its oil reserves? Is there truth behind the scaremongers’ statements that oil is running out – or can advancing technology squeeze every last drop to meet global needs? GIS expert Dr Carole Nakhle considers these questions in this special report.

‘HURRY, before this wonderful product is depleted from Nature’s laboratory,’ warned the Pennsylvania-based oil refiner Kier’s Rock Oil in the US. That was in 1855.

More than a 150 years later, the same warning continues to be raised, reaching a crescendo during periods of high oil prices.

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Oil is central to ...

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