Study of World Oil Resources with a Comparison to IPCC Emissions Scenarios

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Publication date: 2004-01-01
First published in: Uppsala University
Authors: Anders Sivertsson


Our society today is very dependent on oil and gas, almost 65% of the total primary energy consumption in the world is produced from oil and gas. Due to the vast amounts of oil consumed every year, discussions occur regarding whether we will, or will not, run out of oil in the future. Another topic of discussion is the amounts of CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The purpose of this M.Sc. thesis work was, firstly, to upgrade a substantial database on world oil and gas resources, including annual discovery and production. An estimate is also made about how much more oil and gas that will be discovered and produced. Secondly, the oil and gas production is compared to the production predicted in IPCC’s 40 emissions scenarios.

The result from the updated database shows that the ultimate amount of crude oil to be discovered in the world is 1900 Gigabarrels (Gb). Including the year 2002, 1713 Gb is already discovered, which leaves 187 Gb to be discovered in the future. Furthermore, 891 Gb of crude oil had already been produced at the end of 2002, which leaves 822 Gb to be produced in the future. The result of the comparison between the updated database and IPCC’s oil production numbers in their 40 emissions scenarios shows big anomalies. The whole range of IPCC’s 40 scenarios on primary energy production from oil and gas between 1990 and 2100 are higher than what the updated database shows as possible. In most of IPCC’s 40 scenarios, the oil and gas consumption between 1990 and 2100 is more than twice as large as what the updated database shows possible.

Note that the purpose of this M.Sc. project work is to quantify the resource base used in the IPCC emissions scenarios, it does not evaluate whether climate change is or will be, a problem.

Published in: 2004, Uppsala University, undergraduate thesis
Available from: Uppsala University

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