A World Without Oil

Like it or not, explains Business Insider, our world runs on oil – and we need more of it. With an expanding global population – we’re at 7.7 billion people and counting – energy supply needs to keep pace with energy demand. Currently, there’s no energy source as cheap, reliable, and scalable as oil. But what if we were to lose that energy source? Find out what could happen…

SA Oil explains a world without oil

Why Oil?

Supplying 33% of the world’s energy, oil is our primary fuel – for over a century and a half, oil has been the cheap energy source that has made industrial civilisation possible. No other energy source is as calorie-dense, cost-effective or versatile as oil. From oil we get:

  • Industrial fuel for power stations that provide us with electricity for industrial, commercial and residential use
  • Industrial fuel for boilers and furnaces that generate heat and steam for manufacturing processes that create the products we need
  • Fuel that powers our ships, locomotives, aircraft, trucks and cars to get those products to market
  • By-products that are used to build the roads and other infrastructure that those vehicles use
  • By-products that are used to manufacture plastics, chemicals, fertilisers, cosmetics and more.


 Peak Oil

The amount of oil the world consumes to sustain our global economy is staggering. Consider these statistics, courtesy of Forbes.com:

  • 98% of the world’s 1.2 billion passenger cars rely on oil
  • In 2015, world vehicle sales reached 89 million, driven by rising personal income in Asia
  • The world consumes 27 billion barrels of diesel a day
  • Jet fuel demand has doubled to over 2 million barrels per day since 2000 in Asia-Pacific alone, driven by the region’s burgeoning economy.

While energy demand continues to rise with human population growth, some say we’re fast approaching (or have even reached) peak oil – the hypothetical point, theorised by geophysicist Marion King Hubbard some six decades ago, at which global crude oil production hits its maximum rate, and will then start to decline.

Caption: Peak oil, as projected by M. King Hubbard using data from 1956 world oil production. Peak oil was theorised to occur around the year 2000-2020


What Happens When We Run Out of Oil?

Hubbard’s peak oil theory predicts hitting critical mass, followed by gradual decline in production – giving us time (when he proposed the theory in the fifties) to discover new energy sources and innovate new methods of energy production and distribution.

Given our dependence on oil, though, transitioning from an oil to alternative energy sources will be both difficult and expensive. The enormity of this transition is best demonstrated if we imagine a scenario in which this vital resource disappears overnight – our current global economy and related contemporary lifestyles would simply cease to be! Watch this video…

Fuelling Industry in Southern Africa

A reliable supply of industrial fuel  is crucial to our economy. Find out more about our fuel products for industry or chat to us about fuel solutions for your industrial application…