The End of Peak Oil?
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Author name: Alex Wilson Blog Category: Energy Solutions With new oil discoveries and more effective extraction methods, the world is probably many decades away from peak oil. A "Hubbert Curve" of world oil production, showing the peak in this decade, which was widely predicted just a few years ago. Click to enlarge. Photo Credit: Energy Watch Group, UK. I first wrote about “peak oil” in 1998, reporting on an in-depth article in Scientific American by petroleum geologists Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Jean Laherrère. Campbell and Laherrère believed that up to that time the world had consumed about 800 billion barrels of oil (BBO), and the known reserves of conventional crude oil totaled about 850 bbl in 1996 and another 200 BBO of conventional oil was yet to be discovered. The result, they argued, was that the world would reach the half-way point—or the peak—in (conventional) world oil production within the first decade of the 21 st century. That peak would occur, they argued, when cumulative world oil consumption reached about 925 BBO. (At that time the world was consuming 23.6 BBO per year.) The significance of peak oil is that once that point is reached, so the proponents argue, annual oil production will begin an exorable decline with a concomitant rise in cost. It would become too expensive to use oil for many uses and the “end of the oil age” would be in sight. read more