Half of the respondents interviewed for a Deloitte Oil & Gas industry study believe that the U.S. could run out of reasonably priced oil within the next 25 years, and a similar number – 56 percent – think the world will run out of reasonably priced oil in the next 50 years.
The study was based on in-depth phone interviews with more than 50 oil and gas professionals, most holding C-Suite positions at petroleum companies with annual revenues of $100 million or more.
Most participants in Deloitte’s assessment group also feel that oil and gas will no longer remain the world’s cheapest energy source: 71 percent said that oil and gas is today’s most affordable energy source, but only 23 percent feel it will still be the cheapest source 25 years from now – a 48 percentage point drop.
Only 17 percent of the senior professionals involved in the sampling believe oil and gas will be the most sustainable source of energy 25 years from now. Instead, most (54 percent) see renewable energy as highly sustainable in the future. A significant number (37 percent) also see renewables as an affordable source of energy 25 years from now.
Three in four executives in Deloitte’s study group believe transitioning away from the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels for transportation is an appropriate goal for the country. Most (56 percent) also indicate that this is an appropriate goal for oil and gas companies, though many still see hydrocarbon-based energy as the best source for long-term transportation purposes. More specifically, most (54 percent) think the best alternative in transportation fuels is natural gas.