Tuesday, December 28, 2010

R/P Values

I have been reading Laurence C. Smith's The World in 2050:  Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future.

He comments on the R/P value of many natural resources important to our current world economy.  The R?P value is the reserve to production ratio.  It is how long, in annual terms, we will use up our current reserves at our current production rate.  He notes that the price of the commodity does not seem to reflect in any way its R/P value.

Coal 133 years
Oil 42 years
Copper 35 years
Zinc 24 years
Lead 22 years
Nickel 21 years
Tin 24 years
Silver 14 years
Gold 17 years
Indium 8 years
While we are certainly not "stuck" with our current reserve levels, it is also important to note that the projected future growth is expected to come from developing countries  who currently have the currently the lowest per capita usage.  The world currently uses 85 million barrels of oil today, even taking into account the current recession,   by 2030 this is projected to reach 106 million barrels.  Other resources in varying proportions will follow suite.

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