The financial times of London is reporting the results of a global survey of oil reserves
The report estimates the world’s oil reserves at 2.1 trillion barrels, which is 70 years of production at current levels. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter stated as a fact that the world would run out of oil by 1990.
There will never be a “last barrel of oil”. If oil supplies slow down and go up in price, new and more effective techniques will be developed. Horizontal hydraulic fracking is still a relatively new tech, discovered by accident. As drillers use the technique, they learn ways to change the mixture of chemicals and drilling patterns to increase yields. As the price goes up, substitution will occur – natural gas has almost completely replaced oil in electricity generation in. The United States.
In the long run, oil is more valuable as petrochemicals to make plastics and fertilizer rather than powering cars, but market forces will sort that out if governments just stop trying to steer the boat.