BP Says The World Only Has 53 Years Of Oil Left, Should You Panic?

Better hoon that Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat while you can, kids! The world only has about five decades worth of oil left before we run out and descend into what I can only assume is a Mad Max-like state of anarchy, according to a new report. And it's not from some alarmist environmental group — it's from BP.

The world has 53.3 years of oil left at the current rate of production, according to BP's annual statistical review of world energy. Just 53 years! From the report:

Total world proved oil reserves reached 1687.9 billion barrels at the end of 2013, sufficient to meet 53.3 years of global production. The largest additions to reserves came from Russia, adding 900 million barrels and Venezuela adding 800 million barrels. OPEC members continue to hold the majority of reserves, accounting for 71.9% of the global total. South & Central America continues to hold the highest R/P ratio. Over the past decade, global proved reserves have increased by 27%, or over 350 billion barrels.

On its face that number implies that the world will run out of oil within many of our lifetimes, including mine. Even as cars become more and more efficient, the global economy still runs on oil. Is our impending doom coming faster than we anticipated?

Maybe not. Energy companies are constantly revising the amount of oil left in the world's various reserves, and it's possible some countries are being less than truthful about their own supply. It's pretty hard to know exactly how much petroleum we have left.

And as The Motley Fool notes, there's likely more oil out there than we currently know about. America's own reserves have been boosted by the discovery of new shales; they say our country's energy boom "is just getting started." Other countries, most notably Russia, are said to have bright prospects for shale production as well.

So take BP's number with a grain of salt, but remember this is a finite resource. It will run out eventually. And if we don't invest in alternative energy sources, we will be completely screwed.

In the meantime it probably won't hurt to stockpile gasoline, muscle cars, homemade armor, and start thinking about what hairstyle you want in the wasteland.