Patrick Allen
March 23, 2011

There could be less than 49 years of oil supplies left, even if demand were to remain flat according to HSBC’s senior global economist Karen Ward.

“Energy resources are scarce,” Ward said. “Even if demand doesn’t increase, there could be as little as 49 years of oil left.”

“Gas is less of a constraint, but transporting it and using it to meet transport demand is a major issue,” she said. “Coal is the most abundant with 176 years left, but this is the worst carbon culprit.”

If supplies were not constrained, the world would see a 110 percent jump in demand by 2050, equivalent to 190 million barrels a day, to fuel growth in the emerging world, Ward said.

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