I was watching a video (HT: hey bro) on exponential growth and exponential consumption, and it was talking about how much oil there was in 1970, (1.740 * 1012) and how if we'd kept our growth rates, we'd be out by now. He mentions this is very simple arithmetic. Sadly, the world is not so clean. I decided to found how complicated the world of oil reserves actually is.
In 2005, oil reserves were 1,349,417,153,000 barrels.
In 2009, oil reserves were 1,348,528,420,000 barrels.
(P90 proven reserves, those that have a 90% chance of being economically recoverable.)
In 2009, the world consumed 85,220,000 barrels a day. I hope you'll forgive a little fudging, but this number has not changed greatly in the last four years. So that means that between 2005 and 2009, about 124 billion barrels of oil were combusted.
And oil reserves went down by 889 million.
Reserves reduced only by about 140th of the amount burnt. This number isn't stable, it's just to ballpark the power technological growth has on available resources (and to show why a little fudging is meaningless.)