THE debate about peak oil is over and the world has used just a fraction of the petroleum it will be possible to extract, an expert believes.
Speaking at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) 2012 conference in Adelaide, oil major Total’s chief executive Christophe de Margerie said new sources of petroleum, such as tight gas and shale oil, meant that the world had ample supplies of petroleum.
Mr de Margerie said while there were economic and environmental issues which would affect how quickly resources were exploited, there was “definitely not a concern about reserves”.
His comments were echoed by Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali I. Naimi, who told the conference new technology would continue to drive the petroleum sector.
“It is estimated that the world has consumed something like one trillion barrels of oil since the industry started in the nineteenth century,” he said.
“It is thought there are at least five trillion barrels of petroleum potentially recoverable.
“But it is not just that oil continues to be discovered. It is that technology, partly driven by prices, enables ever greater reserves to be booked, and eventually recovered.
“The world has plenty of reserves, and they will continue to fuel prosperity and growth around the world for many decades.”