A private study done for 25 industries and government clients forecasts that world oil prices will rise as rapidly in the next 10 to 15 years as they have in the 3 1/2 years since the Arab oil embargo.
By next year oil will be about $1 a barrel more than this year, the study by Kansas City's Midwest Research Institute and California's Sherman H. Clark Associates predicts, and by 1985 the price for foreign oil will be $26.14 a barrel.
The current world oil price is $13 a barrel. Domestic oil ranges from $5.25 to $11.28 a barrel, depending whether it is "new" or "old" in production.
World demand for oil will begin to outstrip the supply by 1985, the study said, which will force an even more dramatic price rise in the five years after 1985. The study forecasts a price for foreign oil of $37.42 a barrel by 1990 and a domestic price of $37.50 a barrel.
The study said there are three reasons why U.S. oil will rise so rapidly in price, eventually surpassing the price of foreign oil. US. oil prices start from a lower base, the so-called "old" oil that is price regulated will soon be exhausted and domestic stocks will dwindle more quickly than stocks in foreign countries like Saudi Arabia.
The study assumes that Saudi Arabia (the country with the world's largest oil reserves) will not expand production as rapidly as some experts forecasts, putting more upward pressure on price.
"We restrain Saudi production because we think the Saudis will restrain it," Sherman H. Clark said the other day in an interview. "We don't think the Saudis will expand their oil output just to match the world appetite. We think they will conserve their oil."
The study also assumes that the world's rush to nuclear power will slow down dramatically as more and more environmentalists question its worth. The study assumes nuclear delays in half the countries of the world now building nuclear plants, meaning more reliance on oil.
Another reason for higher oil prices in United States the study said, is that domestic coal production will not rise at the rate President Carter predicted in last week's message to the Congress. At best, the study estimated "sustainable output" of coal in the United States at 869 million tons in 1980, which is only 20 per cent more than the study estimates coal output will be this year.
Carter called for a 66 per cent increase in coal output in the next seven years. A 20 per cent increase in the next three years would not be a high enough rate to meet that goal.
If the study is correct and world and domestic oil prices reach $37.42 and $37.50 a barrel by 1990, that woould mean a gasoline pump price of almost $2.50 a gallon.