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Estimate of the World's Oil Reserves

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I recently received information from a Mr. Manfred Zysk, an engineer with some interesting ideas and an interesting background. He has plans for a small hydrogen powered jet plane as well as a hydrogen manufacturing plant to process hydrogen from seawater. Mr. Zysk has read some of my articles and has given me permission to publish any and all of the material from his web site. You can visit his site at He has all of his plans, letters to different Presidents (Clinton and Bush), as well as letters to Congress. His plans are ingenuous and interesting. His ideas on hydrogen production and use probably merit further consideration from the government, but not being a scientist or an engineer myself, I can't really say.

What did intrigue me the most, was his estimates of The Worlds Oil Reserves. Mr. Zysk appears to have done a fair amount of research, and if true, give the most frightening scenario yet on the amount of time we have to use fossil fuels. He also makes some very pointed observations on the fundamental Christian concept of Jesus saving the earth and the coming rapture which he believes that our present government pins it's final hopes on after we have exhausted the worlds last fossil fuels that we "steal" from the rest of the world. Believe me when I say that his conclusions actually make sense when you look at the world from his standpoint. I am going to reprint his chapter on the estimates on the world's oil reserves. I would also recommend that you check out his web site where I'm sure you will find some very interesting concepts and correspondence.

1. Current World Oil Reserves - Estimates

The International Energy Agency and United Nations have previously published over 10 years ago oil resource data and estimates of recoverable and probable unverified world oil reserves. The data included probable recoverable oil shale and tar sands. The availability of oil supplies was then estimated to last for 45 years. The consumption of oil has drastically increased beyond the estimates by the International Energy Agency and the United Nations, because in part of the unexpected rise in industrialization of India and China and overall increases in world population, and the Opec countries oil export quotas were parceled out according to their estimated reserves, but then their oil reserves were grossly inflated in order to export more oil. Opec's actual oil reserves are estimated, but factual figures are unknown. According to the International Energy Agency, 33 of 48 biggest oil-producing countries have passed their peak. All super-giant fields in the world are in decline.

Saudi Arabia refuses to release details about each oil reservoir, and does not permit audits by outsiders. Mr. Nansen Husseini, ex-senior Aramco official states: "If demand and depletion patterns continue, every year the world will need to open enough fields or wells to pump an additional 6 million to 8 million barrels a day to meet the rising demand and at least 4 million to compensate for the declining production of existing fields. That's like a whole new Saudi Arabia every couple of years, Husseini said. When a crisis comes in a year or two or 10 ï it will be all the more painful because we have done little or nothing to prepare for it."

Exxon-Mobil stated "due to depletion, it will be necessary to replace 80% of current production with new fields by 2015." This would be the equivalent of 4 times the Saudi Arabia oil deposits just for the next 11 years. ExxonMobil documents that global oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Declining rates of discovery are therefore a long-established trend. ExxonMobil Corp. forecasts global energy demand will rise 50% by 2030 and oil will remain the dominant fuel source. Exxon estimates global conventional oil reserves amount to 3.2 trillion barrels and nonconventional resources boosts the amount to 4 trillion, leaving more than 2 trillion barrels of conventional resources still to be produced, Exxon said. On 12/14/2005, ExxonMobil says world will need 60% more energy in 25 years. The planet's remaining crude-oil resource base - approx. 2.2 trillion barrels, excluding non-conventional oil, can support that growth, Mr. Spelling said. The Middle East and Russia hold most of the remaining reserves, he said. Chevron notes in recent advertisements that 33 of 48 nations are in decline. We have seen the peaking of production in a majority of individual nations, including some important producers such Indonesia, Norway, Great Britain, and Venezuela. Exxon Mobil Sr. V.P. Stuart McGill said on 2/7/2006: "No combination of conservation measures, alternative energy sources and technological advances could realistically and economically provide a way to completely replace those imports in the short or medium term."

The National Geological Survey had claimed that the world oil reserves amount to 1 to 3 Trillion barrels of oil and would last between approx. 32 years to 98 years. World Oil Production stated that oil reserves amount to 1.032 trillion in 2002, but new estimates are 1.08 trillion barrels of oil, it looks like planet Earth has oil for about 10,000 days, i.e. about 27 years. If consumption increases an average of 5% year, then we have oil for about 15 years. But the US Geological Survey estimates that amount of oil that is still to be found at about 3 trillion, three times the oil reserves known today. World oil supplies are estimated to be 2 trillion barrels by international bodies, and half is already consumed, leaving approx. 1 trillion barrels, or 37 years of oil supply to the year 2041. These figures and estimates show that many variables exist, and it is difficult to come up with actual global oil reserves. The major oil companies have falsified their oil reserves before.

The world was consuming 30 billion barrels of oil last year, and demand is climbing by 1.8%, that means if we are at "peak oil," or at the "break-even point" of production vs. demand, then we need to find and produce an additional 30 billion barrels of oil every year, plus 1.8% or 540 million barrels for additional demand every year. Present estimates of supply and sustained oil production are expected to remain the same for only 2-3 years. The world oil demand now has been upgraded to 2.1% or 630 million barrels, and current depletion is 2% a year. According to information, the World conventional oil has peaked in 2005, all hydrocarbons will peak in 2010, gas will peak in 2020, and uranium will be depleted in approximately 2025. In 2004 the world produced 30.5 billion barrels of oil but discovered only 7.5 billion barrels of new oil.

Finally the major oil companies are providing data. During the Biennial New Zealand Petroleum Conference in early March, 2006, world car production demands are estimated to increase from 750 million today to 1.660 billion in 25 years or by 2031. Demand for oil will increase from 84.9 million barrels today to 138 million barrels per day by 2030.

The many individuals who have shown an honest concern about peak oil and diminishing fossil fuels, only show their concern for our standard of living, employment, food supply, economy, and in short our survival and the survival of future generations for the United States of America and the rest of the world. The US is part of the world, and our economic survival depends very much upon the rest of the world at this point in time. Our government, companies and corporations should be thankful for the efforts of concerned fossil fuel depletion activists, who actually provide a great service toward the survivability for all of us. The real issue here is that the government, oil industry and their experts are being asked and forcefully confronted to provide answers toward this country's energy and our future survivability. This is only a fair and rightful demand on behalf of all citizens, companies, corporations and countries. The only concern businessses and corporations should have is that all companies and corporations are operating in a fair and ethical manner because our livelihood and everyone's existence is at stake.

Mr. Oliver L. Campbell's article pertaining to "Certification of Oil Reserves in the Orinoco Belt" in Venezuela is truly excellent. Everybody needs to know what problems we face now and in the future, and how we can manage to overcome these problems. Our lives and economy are presently directly linked to the availability of fossil fuel and nuclear power. If these energy resources become scarce or too costly to produce and market, then alternative energy sources need to be developed to take their place.

The Cultural Economist Ronald R. Cooke released a valuable report on 12/28/2005 pertaining to Secretary of Energy Mr. Samuel Bodman's letter to Mr. Lee Raymond, CEO of ExxonMobile who is Chairman of the National Petroleum Council (NPC), Bodman has asked the Council to predict the future: "What does the future hold for global oil and natural gas supply?" "What oil and gas supply strategies does the NPC recommend the U.S. pursue to ensure greater economic stability and prosperity?" Mr. Cooke states: "The economic and cultural destiny of mankind is inexorably tied to the availability of fossil fuel." "We know NPC member corporations have better data is generally available to the public, are they willing to make it available to the study team? How will the NPC deal with the paucity of credible data from OPEC?" . . . " we have a lot of oil and natural gas on this planet, it would appear that only a small fraction is accessible. Then you have to factor in the supply chain challenges of transportation, refining, and distribution. Nations tend to treat resource statistics as classified information." "My guess is that the NPC and its consultants will be compelled to characterize a series of possible scenarios on the final report. There are simply too many variables and too many unknown quantums . . . Scenarios are not predictions. The oil and natural gas industry will give us its view of the relevant resource and supply chain issues through the National Petroleum Council's report. . . . we will have inï depth reports on the world's oil and natural gas resources from four American institutions and multiple independent authors. The public will be encouraged to understand the challenges of growing resource demand versus emerging supply limitations. Our political institutions will be confronted with the need to establish responsive public policy. The cumulative wisdom of these reports will describe reality. Will it be truth that Congress chooses to ignore?"

The oil companies and their many investors are used to making huge profits. Hugo Chavez just disclosed that the problem is inflated oil prices by the oil companies by as much as ten (10) times. Senator Harry Reid stated on 4/21/2006 that Exxon-Mobil is making a $2 profit per gallon of gasoline when average prices were at $2.79. When the time comes that these investors and profits diminish due to scarcity of oil and higher exploration costs, then oil companies will be going out of business, while the foreign oil suppliers are restricting foreign investors into their oil reserves, and oil exporting countries want to control their natural resources. This is already happening, and will continue to happen on a much larger scale, and will include nationalization of all natural resources. How much oil is available for US consumption for the next 20-40+ years?

It would be a mistake to play a guessing game or to gamble on unverifiable energy deposits. It would be painful to wake up in 5 or 10 years from now and find out that oil prices have risen to $150 to $200 per barrel, or the price of gasoline costs $8 to $12 per gallon, or more. The oil companies are now buying back their stock instead of investing into exploration with anticipation of making higher profits by withholding gasoline supplies from the market. We are now paying over $250 billion annually for imported oil. Can we afford to pay over $700 billion annually for imported oil? If we continue to sleepwalk, then obviously we are heading for a troubled future. Some estimates state that total world oil reserves may amount to 1.08 Trillion barrels of oil, but the question is what amount is actually producible and marketable. What would happen when within 10 years a hurricane would blast through Florida and moves directly westward and wipes out 50% of the offshore oilrigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico similar to Hurricane Katrina?

Americans and oil companies are known to be big gamblers. The question is, should we demand honest facts about our economy and actual energy facts, or should the people of the United States leave their lives in the hands of oil companies and rely on unreliable promises of foreign (Opec) countries, since they themselves do not know how much oil they have. The American People have grave doubts about our government's truthfulness. The looming worldwide energy crisis can be laid directly at the feet of our government and previous US administrations for aiming to control all world energy resources.

Bio-fuel (ethanol) is being touted as a renewable and major alternative to oil. The bio-fuel produced from plants and organic material has a limited life cycle too. When the soil is used for several years in the row to produce the same crops, then the nutrients (fats & oil) are leached out, and the soil becomes unusable and depleted. How many years will bio-fuel last? Unfortunately, people are being fed a regular diet of false information all the time, such as electric cars, fuel cells, bio-fuel, wind power, solar, nuclear power, etc. All of these combined energy sources are not adequate to sustain our present industrial and economic existence with continued population growth. The total amount of oil consumption is expected to increase by another 50% in 25 years, and any natural gas deposits are not adequate to make up for the shortfall of depletion.

Coal and tar sands exist in substantial quantities, and coal can be utilized to produce electricity, and the tar sands are most useful for plastics, etc., but the appropriate air pollution control concepts and methods need to be developed and utilized. The US Geological Survey years ago stated that we have 1.7 trillion tons of verified coal with a potential of 4 trillion tons. About 473 billion tons of verified reserves are considered economically mineable. So from the 1.7 trillion tons of verified coal only 473 billion tons are economically mineable? Estimated current supplies of uranium will only last for another 20 to 25 years.

The energy problem is very complex, since the USA depends on diminishing oil and natural gas from other countries for our livelihood and standard of living. Oil and natural gas is extensively used throughout our entire economy, and has become a part of our daily life. The article by Mr. Byron W. King dated Jan. 26, 2006 titled "Things Just Got Worse" pertains to the alarming and diminishing oil reserves in Kuwait. The entire article requires our comprehension. Out of the previously claimed 99 billion barrels of oil, Kuwait now has only approx. 40 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves. Verified oil reserves are supposed to be approximately 24 billion barrels of oil. Accurate surveying and verifiable exploration data is required from Opec.

According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy "...we can reasonably conclude that the claim that there are still 1.1 trillion barrels of oil reserves remaining is simply false, a figure off by 300 billion barrels even if we do not also adjust the figure to factor in consumption for the past 17 years."

Chevron recently stated: "Unfortunately, as already noted, it will be foolish to assume there is 1 trillion barrels of oil remaining."

If the oil companies are allowed to bleed the world out of money until virtually all the oil and energy is exhausted, and until the world economy is bankrupt, then it is too late, and the world has difficulty of recovery or to supply adequate amounts of food. The oil industry should not be allowed to control all energy technology or to subvert the development of alternative energy technology. This would amount to economic suppression, and servitude. Good old American technology cannot save this country, when all technology is being controlled and exploited by these kleptocrats and our government. This is not a rosy future and will produce much violence that will affect our lives and the entire US as well.

An article on 4/21/2006 states: "The administration has declared an "Advanced Energy Initiative" which throws a few million dollars at a problem that will require trillions."


On May 2, 2006 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies forum, former US Energy Sec. James Schlesinger moderated the forum, and present Sec. of Energy Samuel W. Bodman, and the petroleum and minerals minister of Saudi Arabia Ali Ibrahim al-Naimi, and top energy officials attended. Mr. James Schlesinger asked the officials for their views of concerns that the world is approaching an oil production peak, Naimi replied, "I believe there are at least 14 trillion barrels of reserves left, 7 trillion of which are conventional. With advancing technology, we'll produce more of it." Mr. Bodman said: "Eventually, we'll run out of it. We had peak oil production in the US in 1970, and it's been declining ever since."

My response would be why is Saudi Arabia cutting back on production, when there are supposed to be 7 trillion barrels of conventional oil available somewhere, and why is Saudi Arabia not exploring and drilling more wells to satisfy the demands of the USA, South America, their neighbors in Africa, and Asia, or to reduce the plight within Saudi Arabia, that is reaching a state of near revolution. If the industrialized countries cannot obtain seismic exploration details and verifiable new oil field results, then such statements are meaningless by Mr. Naimi, "I believe there are at least 14 trillion barrels of reserves left, 7 trillion of which are conventional. With advancing technology, we'll produce more of it." It just happened to be that the Saudi oil production declined from 1980 to now by almost 1 million barrels a day. Such a statement is simply inadequate and not reliable without specifics. Perhaps Mr. al-Naimi could be so kind as to inform the 64 of 100 oil producing countries who's oil reserves are officially in decline, as to where all that oil is, and as Saudi Arabia evidently is not interested in its own economic expansion. I am certain that the USA, China, Britain, Norway, Germany, France, Japan, and India's oil companies would be extremely interested to drill and market all that oil too. The many geo-physicists, geologists, and computer programmers would be more than interested to find these oil deposits and verify the beliefs of Mr. al-Naimi. It appears that the Center for Strategic and International Studies forum did not produce specific energy data.

A number of articles declare that the capitalist system is coming to an end, that it is too late to develop any alternatives, and a major catastrophic worldwide economic collapse is imminent with further population growth. What needs to be determined is what technology, processes, methods and developments will be a substitute to oil, and only the best technologies should be funded, because the energy crisis has arrived in unprecedented worldwide proportions, and any inferior technology/products only produce limited results. By diluting the expected and needed economic benefits, little progress will be made in the USA. This has happened before when inferior air pollution control devices were marketed at high costs, resulting in low reductions in air pollution.

Some misleading information state that more than 3 trillion barrels of oil still exists, and there is no "Peak Oil" for at least a whole generation. My oil calculations in the 1960's were based on figures from the US Geological Survey (USGS). Oil consumption plus annual real economic growth (or population growth) at current consumption rates will show approx. the required demand needed in 10 years or 20 years from now. The USA population is expected to grow by 45 million in 15 years.

The Oil Industry states that investments are down, drilling is down, experienced workers are not available anymore, additional drilling rigs are not available, additional refineries are required. The arctic regions of Russia and Canada should contain some large oil fields, but if the oil companies are not doing the (seismic/electronic) oil surveying and exploration, then we certainly will have economic problems, and the only alternative is hydrogen obtained from ocean water and hydrogen regeneration. All other alternatives combined are not adequate to replace the needed future energy demands to sustain our standard of living. The guessing of probable oil reserves is not acceptable. If the oil industry does not fulfill the public or economic demands of the world, - then they will be replaced, or should be replaced. World oil should be conserved, and within a relatively short time, oil will become too expensive for ordinary automobile transportation anyway. We in the USA are paying $250 billion for imported oil annually, but I doubt that we can afford to pay over $700 billion annually. Approximately half of the world population still lives in poverty and have little access to electricity and energy. Of the 6 billion world population, only 2 billion have regular employment and earn a living. Fossil fuel, oil and energy is a global problem, and this is a time to address our survivability with long range planning and decisions beyond 20 years into the future. The only reason the US has managed to consume large amounts of oil is because our oil reserves were supplemented with imported oil, and the US oil industry reportedly peaked in about 1970. It is more important to invest into hydrogen energy, than to waste our money and resources into useless global oil wars and energy/economic wars. Hydrogen would produce energy independence for most countries and would not produce any air pollution and environmental problems.*

Reprinted from MZ with permission from the author.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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