A documentary first screened 7 years ago is viewable on the Australian ABC website here.
Some key points-
* About 90% of oil is used as fuel, the other 10% is used by petrochemical industries to make products such as plastic and paint.
* About half the oil that was in the ground, land or undersea, in the 1880s has now been consumed.
* At present rates of consumption the rest will be used before the end of the century.
* Before that happens, however, the economics of extracting remaining oil in the most difficult to access places will kick in.
* The most optimistic estimates are that there is enough oil that can be accessed economically to last for about another 50 years; pessimistic estimates are much for a much shorter time.
* While big, the challenges of developing alternative energy sources in time in developed countries are achievable; for less developed countries which represent most of the world's population, the picture is more troublesome.