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Peak Oil, Are We There Already?

Everyone agrees that there is a finite amount of crude oil, and someday we will run out. The big question is “When?”

Fifty years ago M. King Hubbert, a geologist at Shell Oil’s research posited that oil production would follow a bell-shaped curve. In 1956 he predicted that total US oil production would climb, then level off sometime between 1965 and 1970, then decline after half of the oil supply was depleted. Geologists say the US reached the oil peak, “Hubbert’s Peak,” in 1970. Many observers were impressed by the accuracy of this prediction.

Some apply Hubberts theory to global oil, and deduce that it is now at or near its peak. Once the decline begins, the world, with its voracious appetite for oil, will be in a crisis situation. Oil will spike to $200/barrel and keep rising from there.

Colin Campbell, a British geologist who popularized the peak- oil theory in his book “The Coming Oil Crisis” (Multi-Science Publishing Co. and Petroconsultants SA, 1997, 210 pages) says world production of conventional oil, the kind that comes from gushing wells, is reaching its apex.

Worst of all, the world is not prepared for it. Campbell says it’s already too late to develop alternative sources of power, i.e. wind, solar, nuclear, to take the place of oil before prices rise out of control.

This is a controversial issue, and we will present another side of this coin in following posts.

One Response to “Peak Oil, Are We There Already?”

  1. Pumps » The Peak Oil Debate — A Great Discussion from a Valued Source Says:

    [...] Regular readers know that the Peak Oil concept is crucial to understanding the future of oil prices. Pump Girl wrote an excellent series on this topic here, here, and here. [...]

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