BP chief economist says the world will never run out of oil

James Nickerson
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Concerns over climate change mean it is unlikely that the world’s reserves of oil will ever be exhausted (Source: Getty)

The black stuff will never run out, so says BP's chief economist Spencer Dale.

​The world has changed in the last 10 or 15 years, Dale said, meaning new principles for understanding the oil industry are needed, replacing older, outdated assumptions.

Two changes in particular had led to this. Firstly, the shale revolution in the US, and secondly, rising concerns over climate change mean that the world's remaining oil reserves will never be fully exploited, Dale told an economists' conference on Tuesday in London.

Read more: Carney warns of financial risk posed by climate change

However, Dale added: “Increases in available oil resources are nothing new. But what has changed in recent years is the growing recognition that concerns about carbon emissions and climate change mean that it is increasingly unlikely that the world’s reserves of oil will ever be exhausted."

If correct, the findings suggest there is no longer a strong reason to expect the relative price of oil to increase over time, Dale concluded.

Read more: World Bank pledges extra $29bn to poorer nations in fight against climate change

The announcement comes before countries are due to meet in Paris between November and December to bash out a new agreement on climate change, attempting to vastly reduce greenhouse emissions, which Dale said has put more emphasis on climate change concerns.

The speech also comes days after Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, announced the organisation would give $29bn (£19bn) in financial assistance to poorer countries in the fight against climate change.

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