Are we running out of oil?

A breakfast with Dr. G. Campbell Watkins
Thursday May 27, 2004, Halifax Club

There have been many studies intent on spreading the oil patch’s very own version of SARS (Severe Anaemic Reserves Syndrome) – a belief that has proved remarkably resistant to evidence. With gas prices soaring it would seem incontrovertible that SARS is a reality and that cars, and other users of petroleum based products, are, like the dinosaurs, doomed to extinction.

But, as an economic commodity, oil is more plentiful now than it was in 1973. In short, three decades beyond 1973, oil reserves have doubled even though production has continually increased; and there has been less, not more, reliance on OPEC. Indicators of resource scarcity do not provide evidence that oil is becoming scarcer. Instead, new plays, more intense development of existing plays, allied with cost saving and innovative technology have offset depletion of existing reservoirs. In this talk to an AIMS breakfast May 27, 2004, Dr. G. Campbell Watkins says the world has unfolded almost in precisely the opposite way from the doomsday predictions of the 1970s and early 80s. He calls it “confounding Cassandra”.

Read the full transcript of his talk

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