According to BP (NYSE:BP), drivers whose vehicles rely on burning oil have a little more than a half-century to find alternate sources of energy. Or walk.
BP’s annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, which will last 53.3 years at current rates of extraction. This figure is 1.1 percent higher than that of the previous year. In fact, during the past 10 years proven reserves have risen by 27 percent, or more than 350 billion barrels.
As for the United States, which lately has been ramping up oil extraction through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, BP says its proven oil reserves are 44.2 billion barrels, 26 percent higher than in BP’s previous report. This is more than reported most recently by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which had raised its own estimate by 15 percent to 33.4 billion barrels.
That means shale-oil extraction enterprises in the United States have more to offer than many first believed. The sources include the Bakken formation spanning Canadian and U.S. territory in the West, the Eagle Ford formation in East Texas, and the super-rich Permian Basin in West Texas, which alone holds 75 billion barrels of recoverable fossil fuels.