Oil production

 

It is estimated that the world has resources of about 1000 billion barrels of crude oil. One barrel is equivalent to 42 US gallons/159 litres. The largest reserves are in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran. Major sources are also to be found in South America. Large quantities are also to be found in North America, Russia and China but these are being exhausted far faster than those in the Middle East. Further reserves, as yet not fully tapped, lie in Central Asia and Africa. 
In 2006, world consumption was around 70 million barrels a day and rising. In the estimation of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), oil reserves will last about another 80 years. But who knows? Large sums are now being invested in the search for alternative energy sources, not only to reduce reliance on oil but also to reduce environment-damaging emissions. Sooner or later the world will have to do without oil. No doubt the future lies in renewable sources of energy such as solar, hydro-electric, wind and wave power. However, oil plays an enormous economic and political role and this won’t be given up easily.

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