If The Oil Runs Out

Ratings: 7.67/10 from 3 users.

If The Oil Runs OutThe demand for energy has risen relentlessly over the last 150 years in line with industrial development and population growth. And as economies of developing countries like China and India continue to grow, it is predicted demand will rise by a further 50% by 2030. President Bush has already warned the United States that it is too reliant on oil, often from "unstable" countries, and that it must find alternatives.

Geologists are searching in Arctic Alaska, around the Falkland Islands and under the oceans for the last remaining sizable reserves of oil. But what will happen if the fuel crisis is not resolved?

Blending drama and documentary, the IF series returns with a film investigating a scenario many experts fear will come true. When the cheap oil we depend on starts to run out, we may not be able to take anything for granted any more.

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30 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Rhon Nicette

    the documentary is nice...but im dissapointed that its not full lenght,it didnt end properly.....:(

  2. Vlatko

    OK... I've replaced the source. Now its full. Thanks @Rhon.

  3. Bruce Pinkney

    We have had the opportunity to bring forward many supplememtal fuels such as hydrogen, bio fuels,and the like.
    Also the internet has all kinds of sites that show many free energy methods such as wind generators and magneticly driven applications.
    Tesla in particular showed some astounding examples of electrical aparatus that would have been a great benifit to our needs, but big business and poor Govt. sold us out,for a buck.

  4. Capricious

    Bruce there has yet to be a magnetically driven application that generates free energy. Unfortunately it's simply against the laws of physics. Wind is also only viable short term in the sense that once oil does disappear, repairing and maintaining them will become increasingly difficult if possible at all. Sorry to be a doomsday guy, but that's the reality of those matters.

  5. illicitel

    Capricious, you should research Thomas Henry Moray. Magnetic fields harnessing and utilizing pre-existing energy currents is not against the laws of physics. Also, wind turbines do not necessarily require oil products to work, again you underestimate the power of magnetism. I'm a 'doomsday' guy myself, but the reality of the matter is that something must be done. Instead of shooting down every thought or idea someone else has, why not propose your own? I think Bruce's point is that the internal combustion engine is ancient technology by now, so why are we still using it and fossil fuels when there are alternatives?

  6. Capricious

    illicitel, I had never heard of this gentleman before - I appreciate the info. After only a brief bit of research on him it appears he was basically attempting to do the same thing Tesla was? Basically, as I understand it, tapping into the magnetic fields is certainly within the realm of theoretical physics but aside from *maybe* Tesla (who's tests are hard to duplicate), to my knowledge, no one has been able to prove that it actually is feasible or practical. Theoretically it sounds great, no doubt.

    Correct, turbines do not require many oil products, yet the manufacturing of all of their parts, the assembly and the transportation all critically rely on oil in one direct way or another. Just about every aspect of our life boils down to this. Not to mention the math on turbines vs oil for energy production is something like 700 turbines per 12,000 barrels of oil IIRC. When we use millions of barrels a day, you're talking a scale of hundreds of thousands of turbines at best.

    I wish I COULD propose any good alternative. Unfortunately besides fusion or some type of socially acceptable nuclear power. These still, will only fill the void for electricity. What are we going to do to substitute plastic and other critical oil byproducts? Sure there are natural alternatives, but like in every other regard, oil is far more productive/effective.

    I dunno, I like to handle ideas that exist in reality, so reality doesn't later handle me. I'm honestly preparing for the very worst psychologically, it's something we'll see happen in our lifetime for sure according to the reserve numbers (assuming you're in your late 20s/30s like myself). I certainly don't like what I've learned one bit :(

  7. CW

    Some good points made and I have to agree that there is no easy solution to the energy crisis. I personally hope that this problem will lead to massive political and social changes or perhaps foce a breakthrough with fusion technology.

    It is perfectly reasonable to think that wind, solar, wave and tidal power could replace our current power plants however it is to my understanding that this would be much more costly to run. With consumerism leading the way in the west most(i cant remember if it 80% or 90%) of jobs in the comercial sector it will require some social restructuring for this to be applicable.
    On the point of materials theres other ways of getting the carbon required for a lot of newer materials but as mentioned this will again be more costly.
    Most of our resorces are currently wasted and that is why I am not pesimistic on the matter. Imagine if resorces and workforce was more focused at bringing civilisation forward rather than holding technology back and competing for monetry gain.

    Besides what I have said I believe the most likely solution will be a slow change to solar, tidal and wind power while still looking for oil deposits.. however this would be the worst possible solution in my opinion.

  8. silkop

    Not mentioned in the documentary: before oil runs out and consumption falls, the US government will likely arrange yet another Middle East war to unite American people against an external enemy in wake of disaster (and maybe to put their hands on the last reserves). This might even happen before they touch endangered wolves in Alaska. That's why there's little love for the US in the rest of the world.

    Whether and when oil runs out is really difficult to tell. There seem to be few credible sources on this issue.

  9. mjiljk

    We have lots of methane....we don't need oil...it is just propaganda telling us we need oil

  10. Syly1212

    It's suspected there's a huge oil field beneath Haiti which is why the US army moved in and started occupying the country 48 hours after the January earthquake.

    As long as Iraq has any oil left, we will continue to occupy it.

    I don't think there are any Middle East oil producing countries that have nuclear missiles and so the US will probably attack one or more of them for it's oil (Think Iraq) when we begin to suffer any long-term shortages.

  11. Kowpucky

    I once herd Henry Ford made a car almost completely from hemp, including running it (this i'll have to check into) Anyway, include the environmental positives, the fact it can grow almost anywhere with no pesticeds, the cheapness to produce. Now granted I don't necessarily think that you can replace every single thing made with oil with hemp nor that everything replaced with hemp would be of equal or better quality. Thousands of items most definitely would but don't forget that's with the understanding of the plant from 80 years ago, with the science out there today who knows the possibilities. But like everything else it came down to money and politics and hemp was outlawed under the name marijuana, most didn't realize what had just happened. They just outlawed the most versitile plant known to man and the USA has pushed/bullied the rest of the plant to conform to their political/corporate agendas.

  12. Kowpucky

    Capricious "What are we going to do to substitute plastic and other critical oil byproducts? Sure there are natural alternatives, but like in every other regard, oil is far more productive/effective" I had another huge paragraph that went before my last but it somehow got erased at transfer. Watch "The Hemp Revolution" on this site you'll be amazed on what you can do with the non - drug inducing plant

  13. Chloe

    Plastic is already being replaced as we speak. I own a cosmetics company and our packaging suppliers have launched bioplastic containers made from corn which are durable even when exposed to humidity and heat. But eventually, these products break down to harmless starch (which takes extreme heat and humidity to react). The technology and products are quite expensive but the alternative is there.

    Yes the bioplastics aren't strong enough to make parts for machinery or wind turbines, but there are also ways to recycle plastic to turn used plastic close to strong, virgin plastic. It's been done before by

    Eventually, science and technology will find a way to produce harmless and durable plastic from all types of starches. There are already people experimenting with GM bacteria that can reproduce plastic without the oil.

  14. Nikk

    I'm currently an aspiring (i.e. haven't graduated yet hah) Electronic/Electrical Engineering major. In ANY sort of alternative fuel system (with a BIG emphasis on the word system) I've heard the debate trounced with incorrect information by a good amount of detractors. Ironically, and I'm certainly not talking about anyone here because the discussion seems to be going in the right direction, these people tend to be the same ones who have a completely unjustified fear and hatred of the "green movement". They tend to knock down the argument (and feel very full of themselves) by saying that wind, hydro or solar power won't do the job. Well...it doesn't take a rocket scientist or even an electrical engineering major to say, "no shit...". The truth is that a combination of all three will be necessary.

    My personal favorite area of interest has been hydroelectric power and apparatuses. The potential for a very small turbine to create something like 10kW of power, which is enough to power a small town and I DO mean an American town of substantial size, is very real. Simply because the power generated has nothing to do with any sort of expensive technology but only two principles of physics; flow and head. Flow is obviously the rate of flow of water OVER the turbine and head is nothing more than the pressure that is present around the turbine. Therefore, by simple modifications to system designs such as building more efficient turbines that allow water to flow not just over but around themselves and creating steeper inclines in the deliver piping to the turbine to increase the rate of flow or by building with smaller diameter pipes (to a certain degree) to increase the pressure present at the turbine you can generate much more power. There's a video on YouTube of the guy who created the jet engine for the F-15, I believe, and he shows off his latest hydroelectric power device. What he says this thing can do is amazing and sadly there is no demonstration of it in the video but I've been trying to find SO much more on it because I was blown away but the guy is a genius and a war hero fighter pilot from WWII as well so if anyone can do it I bet he can.

    ANYHOW, we have the ability to implement this technology AND I also believe we have the technology to create plastics and other petroleum based products using something like silicon or some other element on the periodic table. There were only 92 and that's all they said there could ever be but we managed to start making them in 1930-something with Radium being the first one I believe. So I think we CAN do it. We just need to get off our asses and stop hoping against hope that the oil gods of wall street will miraculously keep finding fossil fuel reserves that just don't exist anymore or that they'll stop wasting the research money we COULD be using on implementing and making these alternative energy sources more cost effective for research and development in drilling deeper and deeper when eventually, inevitably, that technology CAN ONLY go out of date and be obsolete.

    Two things before I wrap it up.

    First, I have a hard time with using corn...which we eat...to make energy. It's basically (literally) living hand-to-mouth or at the very least swapping one great human catastrophe for a potentially worse one.

    Second, to the person who was talking about the US government starting another war to unite the country against an external enemy. If say we ran out of oil and they attempted that...how would we get there? I mean the Navy Seals are damn good but swimming across the atlantic and then marching some ridiculous amount of miles THEN to fight is just...not feasible. You need oil to fly planes, drive tanks and trucks as well as pilot boats. Without oil our military basically is on the same playing field as the Taliban. Oh...well we could probably see them because I think we'd still have satellites...but then again, those probably use oil somehow too. Haha, didn't mean to come across as a douche bag. I just thought it was a pretty funny thing to bring up because we need, of all things, oil to even fight wars for oil. Interesting huh?

  15. TruthSearcher

    To me, I expected a description of the crumbling of an oil based economy and the machine - none of that here... just some symbolic drilling, and mild character development - not really my prefered angle for the topic. The approach seemed more like a possible pilot to a series which would develop too slowly anyway. But decently put together, good quality acting and good screen resolution.

  16. James G

    Ummmm didn't "we" just dump something like 149 million gallons into the gulf coast.

  17. James

    From all that I have seen and heard regarding the oil situation over the last decade, it appears anyway, that we already have all the necessary technology to start doing things oil-free if we wanted to. There would be an increase in our daily costs and a change in transportation infrastructure, gas stations etc, would be required, but in less than five years we would transform to a new way of getting around. The only reason that we don't just do it is there are those who want to benefit financially from the oil until the last drop and they are the same people who wind up leading us politically, or as the case often is, are placed in power (through financial support) by the benefitting ones. In the meantime, we are fed bogus ineffective environmental legislation and other methods to give the impression that they are working on changing us over. The environmental concerns don't exist for those greedy few who are only concerned with the short time they have left on the planet. There is no concern for what will happen after they are dead!!
    These people are the real roadblock to change. I take refuge in the unfortunate fact that it is only the human race that will suffer the real costs of our environmental damage. Once we eliminate ourselves by destroying the life carrying capacity of earth, the planet will eventually heal itself as it has from other even greater catastrophes. Other new species of flora and fauna will reappear, but we will not. Whether you are a Darwinist or Christian the outcome will be the same for planet earth.
    It is sad, however, that only a few thousand greedy jerks will decide this fate for the rest of us!!
    This flex fuel business is an absolute joke. The ethanol fuel is as polluting as oil and the corn required to make it is taken from the animals it used to feed which eventually means taking it away from our plates at the end of the chain. Wind power does not solve anything for a North American culture that demands over a hundred percent increase in power for air conditioning on a hot day. Only nuclear and other dirty forms of energy production can deliver that kind of instant demand no matter how many fields of turbines are built.
    Therefore, we are nearly just as guilty as those who benefit financially from the oil!!
    What is needed is a change in attitude about what we really need.
    And I have no idea what we think we will accomplish when the biggest coordinated effort is to turn our power off for one hour on one day of the year. Wow! What a sacrifice!
    What a joke!! Is this actually supposed to be a serious attempt to show our concern for the problem?

  18. Creatio-whaa!?

    Oil starts running out, oil prices go up, oil-based energy becomes more expensive, alternative energy sources become more competitive, new alternative energy is introduced, alternatives become the new standard, Islamic world is no longer relevant to global security concerns, life goes on. God bless the free market.

  19. awful-truth

    Bio fuel is a joke, it takes 10 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of ethanol energy; Yes, Brazil is 70% efficient with sugar cane, but not nearly enough land exists at the current human population, so there is NO ALTERNATIVE! In the real world there is only 2 possabilities, solar and wind. there is a 3rd hope in helium 3, which the moon has in heavy abundance, but this could only be used in a fusion generator which hasn't been invented yet. (neutron count is feasably low enough to use without destroying containment)Solar is the ticket because it is unlimited, and no one can say they own it because it isn't on planet earth to be fenced up, or protected by aircraft carriers.
    Ultimately, solar is the route we have to go but human nature and change don't go hand in hand. When we truly realize what we need to do, it will be too late. Sorry to be a downer, but we are the weakest link; good bye!

  20. Nancy

    What was amazing in this doc. is that gas prices where almost at what they are today! I live in NYS and have seen the gas go for as much as $4.25 a gallon!

  21. grizzly

    This doc convinced me that it is imperative we move away from oil dependence.

  22. Hailey1313

    Good info, but these characters are COMPLETELY obnoxious! Which, is pretty accurate to real life, too. lol

  23. armedian

    Well I guess the days of enjoyment are over for the west , as each person in there cosumes and wastes more than what is enough for hundreds of persons in the rest of the world. Now lets see how many more days of plundering and over consuming remains for the west and then what chaos is about to erupt in the world.... lets wait and see for five or ten years more.

  24. commenturion


    (only thing is these adjustments don't go very smoothly, more in a "too much, too late" way, so there will still be casualties.)

  25. ranii02

    not a fan of drama and documentary mix

  26. Chris Makin

    Hardly any real consequences shown here. I was expecting Jess to be stranded and to have to have the baby in Alaska as no-one was able to travel around due to fuel shortages, while society collapsed in London and Minneapolis, and crime rates shot up, leaving the cities really dangerous places to live.
    Instead we get a little bit of theft, and a single punch up.

  27. Paul Pattison

    Due to this Documentary I now have the theme to 'Eastenders' stuck in me Head :(

  28. Mark Bert

    The subliminal message of the baby getting vaccinated at the end is weird. Studies show that before 1 year of age vaccines have no effect, but is continued as training to have the shots.
    But the oil shortage problem is a reality even if the earth has enough for us to live for thousands of years on it because it gets more and more expensive to harvest. Short of some breakthrough technologies we will have to learn to deal with using a lot of solar, wind, tidal, hydro, and alcohol as the liquid fuel.
    Saying biofuel is a joke is wrong though. It is more efficient than what awful-truth says if done in smaller scales, and most of the waste product can be used as fertilizer. The key here is distance, meaning small ones spaced at proper distances so that the ratio of energy gained to used is higher since transportation is the main factor of energy used. And sugar cane is actually a poor source, the best is actually cat tails. Starch, rather than sugar, is much more efficient. And hemp is very efficient at producing products and energy but studies have been mediocre, basically because of the lack of funding which is probably because of the war on drugs and how easy it is for everyone to grow.
    In any case the western world will have to learn to use less energy. More efficient technologies can probably allow us to have the same standard of living, which will spread and result in a reduction in population growth. This all changes if a huge collapse of the world economy happens, and there are a number of scenarios that could result from that.

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