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HOUSTON -- A new study by KPMG LLP, an audit, tax and advisory firm, revealed that the majority of oil and gas industry executives believe government involvement is necessary to stave the problem of declining oil reserves through the support and development of renewable energy sources.
The survey, which polled 553 financial executives from oil and gas companies in April, found that 25 percent of respondents said at least 75 percent of government funding into energy should be directed at the renewable sources sector. Another 44 percent said at least 50 percent of government funding should be allocated in the same way. Further, the overwhelming majority, or 82 percent, cited declining oil reserves as a concern.
"These executives are deeply concerned about declining oil reserves, a situation they see as irreversible and worsening," Bill Kimble, National Sector Leader – Energy & Natural Resources for KPMG, said in a written statement. "They see renewable energy sources as a lifeline, but our survey shows that the execs recognize they cannot count on them as a solution in the short-term. Consequently, oil and gas companies are sending a clear signal to the government that intervention is needed."
However, the mass production of renewable energy sources is less than probable in the immediate future, according to the survey results. Of the respondents, 60 percent stated it will not be possible by 2010. Of the respondents who believe it is possible, 18 percent believe ethanol is the most viable for mass production by 2010, while 13 percent said biodiesel and 3 percent stated cellulosic ethanol as the most feasible.
The survey also found that 60 percent of the oil executives believe the trend of declining oil reserves is irreversible. In addition, almost 70 percent said emerging markets would cause the oil reserve situation to worsen.
The respondents also were asked how consumers can alleviate some of the problems.
"One-third of oil and gas executives questioned said that the next time they are purchasing a family car they would consider one that consumes less gasoline, such as a hybrid," Kimble said. "They clearly see demand-side as part of the solution to declining oil reserves."