Let’s do some simple oil math
Here's an excerpt of Dot Sulock's guest commentary, published Nov. 14 in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Sulock teaches in UNC Asheville's math department and international studies program.
It was nice to read about the sustainability plans of Green Sage (Nov. 10, AC-T). Sustainability planning is not just a warm and friendly option. Conservation really matters.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Agency, http://188.8.131.52/international/reserves.html,
the world has proven oil reserves (in the ground) of at most 1,342 billion barrels.
It turns out that 1,342 billion barrels really isn’t much oil. The just-released World Oil Outlook report expects that by 2015 global oil demand will be 92.9 million barrels per day. http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/OPEC_raises_forecasts_warns_of_investment_uncertainty_999.html
I teach a course called Reality Math and in that course we learn what numbers like these can tell us. How long will 1,342 billion barrels of oil last if 92.9 million barrels a day are being used?
(1342,000,000,000 barrels) / (92,900,000 barrels/day) = 14,446 days which is only 40 years.