At a conference today in Vienna sponsored by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Abdallah S. Jum'ah, president and CEO of the state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), proclaimed that the world has only consumed about 18 percent of its total crude oil supply. He said that with a 4.5 trillion barrel global potential, there is enough to maintain current consumption levels for 140 years.
Many industry experts believe the there are at least 3 trillion barrels of oil left on Earth, possibly more than 4 trillion. Rex W. Tillerson, the chairman of Exxon Mobil, however, points out that global demand for oil will rise by 50 percent in just the next decade. It sounds like an incomprehensible figure until you factor in the rapid growth the Chinese economy. According to Xinhua, China's car sales were up about 27 percent during the first six months of 2006 while recording an overall profit increase of 76 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Jum'ah went on to challenge oil ministers and executives to step up exploration and add 1 trillion barrels to the world's known supply in the next 25 years. He believes that new technologies should make it possible to realize that target.

Even if Jum'ah is correct about the world having 4.5 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be pumped, he doesn't actually address the peak oil theory at which point the rate of the world's total oil production will enter a decline in relation to the exponentially growing demand.

[Source: Associated Press via MSNBC]


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