When Will World Oil Production Peak?  

Posted by Big Gav

Here's another basic introduction to Peak Oil from Built Green. It doesn't offer any new insights but its a good summary of the situation (their guess for a peak is 2013).

Back in 1956, when Hubbert told the oil industry that U.S. oil production should peak in about 1970, he nailed it. In an interview with this writer in 1988, Hubbert recalled that in 1956, oil industry and government reactions split evenly. Half his audience was in denial. "It won't happen during our lifetimes" was a typical line. The other half was bummed: "Why did you have to ruin our day?"

Most economists who examine the peak oil issue today complacently figure it will be a non-issue tomorrow. "We're clever. We'll figure out substitutes. The Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones."

I've read their perspectives and am not persuaded. They highlight new projects, yet ignore the daily declines of older fields worldwide. They sound like the critics during the 1950s and 1960s calling Hubbert a fool for his peaking prediction that ended up on target.

Today's peak oil alarmists include retired petroleum geologists and scientists, primarily Europeans. Given the world's lack of awareness about peak oil, they foresee the world economy smashing into a wall. In this country, Simmons speaks out more frequently and forcefully than anyone else about world oil issues. Back in 2001, he urged a "Marshall Plan" to drill our way out of our looming oil and natural gas problems. Now he seems more sobered by the scale of the changes we face, stressing the need for a balanced energy policy and the probability of a gradually shrinking economy.

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