Peak oil, or Hubbert's
peak, is the point in time where the year to year production rate of
oil stops increasing and starts to decline. Oil prices will
from being demand limited (controlled by the cost of producing a barrel
of oil) to being supply limited (controlled by what people are willing
to pay when competing against one's neighbor). In other
oil demand will be limited using price and economic recessions to limit
demand to a geologically controlled supply. It probably won't
Current world spare capacity is about 1 percent, or around 1 million
barrels of production per day. This spare capacity is almost
exclusively held in Saudi Arabia.
Many folks figure that having only about 1 percent spare oil production
capacity in the world, compounded with the threat of hurricanes in the
gulf of Mexico, strikes in Venezuela, mayhem in Iraq, nukes in Iran, a
surging economy in the USA and China, and having the USA, North Sea,
and Indonesia already peaked, along with shortages of tankers and
refineries everywhere is no excuse for current oil prices. I
not one of them.
By the way, the world is growing demand by about 1 percent every 4 to 6
Since there are so many other great web sites on Peak Oil, I decided to
just supply links or names of some of the better ones.
Peak One of
the best original peak oil web sites. A bit inconsistent.
Future Oil Output is a great page of peak oil prediction
graphs. As you look at these graphs, think about what life
our children will be like in 30 to 50 years - under anyone's oil
Trends and Their Implications for U.S. Army Instillations
A good report done for the U.S. Army on energy surety. Be sure to
read the "Conclusions about Petroleum", pages 11 and 12. The U.S. Army,
or at least these authors, believe that peak oil is at hand, and that
the optimists conclusions are "extremely implausible". Taken out of
Read the article!
Production: Impacts, Mitigation & Risk Management by
Hirsch et al. Great report created for the U.S. Department of
Energy by Science Applications International Corporation.
Includes the problems, possible solutions, and impacts due to delays
dealing with Peak Oil. Abstract is that we want to start
on the problem 20 years before the peak. Long, but a must read.
Administration Click on forecasts, then Short-Term.
have been low or very low the vast majority of the time for this
Also checkout forecasts, and Annual. The annual estimate for
said that prices for a barrel of oil were expected to decline to the
mid 20's from the then mid 30's. As of August 2005, prices
gone over $60 per barrel. I believe that their models are
Information Administration Long-Term World Oil Supply Scenarios
This is the EIA's reply to Peak Oil. Their conclusion is that
the peak should be near the middle of the this century. If
you assume more aggressive numbers, such as oil demand continuing to
grow at 3% per year and a world supply of about 2 trillion barrels, we
peak in 2021. Way too soon for me.
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WORLD PETROLEUM ASSESSMENT 2000
This is the year 2000 report from the USGS that is the foundation of
many anti-peak oil people.
I believe that this is a good example of the old engineering
saying "If you write an answer
digits of precision, people think that you know what you are talking
about." This is very handy when you are making wild guesses.
Gas mileage is the goal here. Generally hybrid
technology, advanced diesel, lightweight, and/or small is the
answer. Just because a pickup truck getting 15 mpg has a
sticker on the back does NOT solve the Peak Oil problem. Try
a vehicle getting mileage in the 40's of miles/gallon. Check
Support mass transit. Ride the bus.
Move near work
or public transportation.
See "The Oil Factor" below.
Don't invest in airlines or auto companies.
Get a good
education. Learn to be flexible. In a world of
for scarce resources, the slow will not survive.
Get your finances in order. Read "The Automatic
Long range solutions
Reduce the earth's population to what can be supported
renewable resources. That is probably a forth or less of our
Have fewer children.
Hubbert's Peak by Deffeyes. ISBN
book on the science of Peak Oil from a geologist's
This is basically an elaboration of the Scientific American article
Beyond Oil by Deffeyes. ISBN
0809029561. Good book on
what energy sources can replace oil. Generally, the outlook
The Oil Factor by Leeb. ISBN
0446533173. Good book on
the financial winners and losers in a Peak Oil world. He is
incorrect on his main "clue" to time getting out of the stock market -
he doesn't take into account the devaluation of the dollar against
other currencies. Timing the market never works. Go
fundamentals. And Peak Oil is a fundamental.
Twilight in the Desert by Simmons. ISBN
This book analyzes oil and gas in Saudi Arabia, and comes to very, very
depressing conclusions. Lots of good detail.
Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared
Diamond. ISBN Sometimes technology and ideas that save
civilizations work, sometimes they don't.