Oil

So Much for Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory: $20 Per Barrel Oil Soon?

Peak oil theorists wrong again.

|

Oil at Sunset
EIA

All right, the headline might be a tad hasty. Nevertheless, geologist M. King Hubbert famously (and so far) correctly predicted in 1956 that U.S. domestic oil production in the lower 48 states would peak around 1970 and begin to decline. In 1969 Hubbert predicted that world oil production would peak around 2000. Hubbert argued that oil production grows until half the recoverable resources in a field have been extracted, after which production falls off at essentially the same rate at which it expanded. This theory suggests a bell-shaped curve rising from first discovery to peak and descending to depletion.

In fact, daily U.S. oil production did "peak" at an average 9.6 million barrels in 1971. In January, U.S. production averaged about 9.2 million barrels per day. If Hubbert were right this should not be happening. The problem with Hubbert's analysis and that of his many peak oilist devotees is that they overlook how market prices can change the definition of "recoverable resources" by means of encouraging new technologies and the search for new reserves. In the current case, fracking has made once unrecoverable resources recoverable. As a consequence, U.S. petroleum production has dramatically ramped up from its nadir of 5 million barrels per day in 2008.

US Oil Production
EIA

As a result of flood of new supplies, storage tanks in the U.S. are filling up and the amount of stored crude is at an 80 year high. Since last summer the price of oil has fallen from $107 per barrel to $50 today. Some analysts are suggesting that this glut could cause a second price collapse to as low as $20 per barrel later this year. That would be only slightly above the average per barrel low (in real dollars) of $17.23 in 1998. If prices fall that far, then drilling and production will be cut back and prices will rise again. Nevertheless, what is happening now to U.S. and global oil production and prices was supposed to be impossible according to peak oil theorists.

Advertisement

NEXT: 6 Weak Arguments in the Administration's Obamacare Supreme Court Subsidies Brief

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. We will also never reach peak derp.

    1. “Proven recoverable reserves of derp are increasing at a geometric rate.”

    2. Derp is a renewable resource.

    3. We did on blue black white gold dress day.

      1. Ok, this is like the fifth time I’ve seen something like this. WTF did I miss? Damn work…

        1. You missed nothing but one of the dumbest internet memes of all time.

        2. You missed nothing but one of the dumbest internet memes of all time.

    4. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as tragedy, third as derp.

    5. Probably not, but I’d settle for an unexpected 15 year plateau in the level of derp. Instead, the levels of derp are conforming to the “hockey stick” graph.

  2. The Ultimate Resource, baby. Julian Simon wins again.

  3. I’ll give the new site a shot since I can finally comment from the mobile page, reason, but I wish you’d lose the share banner. I prefer having friends to being the obnoxious Facebook libertarian.

    1. Meh. If my prog friends are going to be all over Facebook proclaiming that Obama is the lightbringer and that all those who oppose him are evil, I can post the occasional libertarian stuff to fuck with them.

      1. Truth is, I don’t have a page. But that banner occupies valuable screen real estate.

        1. And memory. It’s that shit that makes the page take 30 seconds to fully load.

        2. Dweebston, get adblock!

  4. The failings of peak oil demonstrate the more universal problem of aggregating well understood micro effects into a grand macro theory.

    1. How has Peak Oil failed? Prices plateaued for 4 years at the highest inflation-adjusted level ever. How does the Infinite Oil Theory answer that situation? The current price plunge (to a still inflation-adjusted historically high level) is killing frackers, so it is guaranteed prices will rise again as their output falls.

  5. Amazing how oil is the only resource that is scarce.

    1. Common sense is so scarce that we must leave the thinking to our betters.

      Accountability is so scarce that it must be reserved for the masses. At least that’s how they seem to present it.

    2. It’s actually not. The other two fossil fuels, coal and natural gas, will peak in production in a decade or two as well.

  6. Okay, what happened to the format? Doesn’t work for shit on the phone. Much of what was orange is now gray.

    I FEAR CHANGE!

    1. Preview is fucked up…again.

      No moar pretty green buttons.

      On the mobile app I get that email/google/face thingy bar that eats up half the fucking page.

      WHY DO PEOPLE FEEL THE NEED TO FUCK WITH SOMETHING THAT’S WORKING FINE?

      1. Stop using mobile. Use your work computer so your boss can make notes and add you to the re-education list.

      2. It wasn’t working fine on Chrome for Android. I couldn’t post without using the desktop version of the site – which I didn’t like using because it had a weird sizing issue. They fixed that (thanks for that, btw).

        It still reloads every time I change the phone’s orientation though. 🙁

        1. NOW it’s reloading when I change the orientation on my iPhone. Didn’t before.

          (thanks for that, btw)

    2. You should fear hope

      1. How can one fear what one doesn’t have?

        1. It’s not FDA’s hope that I’m talking about.

  7. Put away the sandwichboards. The end of the world has been postponed again.

  8. Cue Jack and Ass to tell us how it was all due to the grace of Obama that oil prices are so low.
    You’re welcome. PROLES…

    1. As if the right wing wouldn’t be crowing about how Romney had lowered oil prices were he to have been elected.

  9. Set the right hand axis to inflation adjusted $ per barrel over the same time frame on the X axis.
    Would better demonstrate the thesis of when does profit drive oil production.

  10. “The problem with Hubbert’s analysis and that of his many peak oilist devotees is that they overlook how market prices can change the definition of “recoverable resources” by means of encouraging new technologies and the search for new reserves.”

    The infrastructure to transport and store natural gas around the country in an affordable way is lacking; otherwise, we might see a lot more natural gas being used in cars, too.

    ‘Oil for cars’ is probably too circumscribed a variable. Energy for cars is probably unlimited*, and entrepreneurs are increasingly incentivized to roll out the means to distribute alternatives as the cheapest option becomes increasingly expensive.

    Certainly no reason to think that we wouldn’t adapt to embrace other energy sources for transportation if oil went over $200 a barrel for very long. Unless, you know, President Warren decided to put price controls on the cost of gasoline, or something. That might make some of the worst peak oil predictions look attractive by way of comparison.

    *How much nuclear waste are people willing to accept?

    1. President Warren

      You tossed that in so casually I almost spit-taked.

      1. More to fear from President Warren than Peak Oil, that’s for sure!

    2. There are alternatives to nuclear waste, too, Ken. But we are a loooooooong way from plug in cars being anywhere near as reliable or efficient as liquid-fueled cars. Right now they are nothing more than social signalling.

      1. The price of oil isn’t doing much for Tesla’s hope to make a car for average consumers, but if oil were going beyond $200 a barrel, like the peak oil people were predicting, that technology would be a lot more viable for a lot more people than it is now.

        Most of the electricity supplied by the Hoover Dam goes to Southern California. The local utilities have spent big on installing smart meters everywhere–and one of the reasons they did that is so they can give consumers a steep discount for charging their vehicles overnight and be in a position to compete with petroleum to power people’s cars.

        No doubt, different people in different parts of the country will find that different solutions work for best for them. But the point is that there are more alternatives to oil than there have ever been before, and they continue to become increasingly more competitive with oil–if and when oil go back up and over the $150 barrel mark again.

        1. In other words, fearing the transition away from oil should production peak makes a lot less sense now than it did before. There didn’t used to be any other viable options at all–even if oil was at $200 a barrel. Now we have fracking–and an abundance of natural gas. Now, I pass Chevy Volts on the way to work every day. Are they competitive at $50 a barrel?

          Hell no.

          Natural gas might be, but some entrepreneur is going to have to invest in the distribution and storage infrastructure to make that usable on a national scale. As more and more trucks, buses, etc. make the switch to natural gas, that will continue to develop into a more mature and competitive alternative to oil–no matter where the price of oil lands. And if the price of oil explodes again, getting investors to finance a distribution and storage network will be just as easy as getting them to finance the infrastructure to lay the fiber, develop the switches, etc. that created the interwebs.

          …even easier, since before Quake III, YouTube, and Napster, nobody was even sure what people were going to want high speed internet access for.

          1. $50 is only temporary. $50 oil kills fracking. Fracking is what drove the price down.

      2. Plug-in cars face another problem. Peak Coal and Peak Natural Gas. Both only a decade or two away (despite all the optimism about coal), and if we were to all single car commute using electricity it would just speed both up.

        1. Peak natural gas I have a hard time believing in for all the same reasons I’m skeptical of peak oil.

          Regardless, there are even more cost effective substitutes for energy.

          You could move closer to work.

          Business owners can move their businesses closer to where their employees live.

          People can move to more temperate climates with fewer heating and cooling degree days–that require less energy to live comfortably.

          Know anything about geothermal heat pumps?

          “Geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption? and corresponding air pollution emissions?up to 44% compared to air source heat pumps and up to 72% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment.[26]”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G…..efficiency

          Substituting away from scarcity always seems impossible to the Malthusians, and yet, that’s what people (and lots of other species) do. People responding to price signals always seems to mystify central planners, too. How will people know to do that–if we don’t tell them?!

          If we ever get to the point where there isn’t enough oxygen and water to go around, I might get worried. Although before we get anywhere close to running out of water, we’ll do something about directing all of our storm drains to the nearest river or ocean and squandering a collected resource. Only a government would build and maintain such a silly system–even amid a drought.

          1. “You could move closer to work.”

            Unfortunately, the way US metro areas develop, they continue to put the new offices in a central location and the development sprawls out. So before everyone could abandon their suburban residences, they would need to begin a massive build up of skyscraper condos and apartments by the commercial areas.

            “Business owners can move their businesses closer to where their employees live.”

            I am right with you on this one. I live in Silicon Valley. The CEOs live in these low density enclaves in the hills outside of Silicon Valley. They have a lobby group that pays and conjoles the politicians in Silicon Valley to continually do two things:
            a) build more and higher commercial
            b) knock down anything they can and put in condos or apartments

            Why they don’t put some new stuff out in the San Joaquin Valley or down in Gilroy or in another statet I don’t know. They just want to cram everything into one stinking spot forcing people who want to own a house to have to undergo massive commutes because there just isn’t enough houses (or even housing) where they have done, and continue to tdo, massive commercial development.

            “Substituting away from scarcity always seems impossible to the Malthusians”

            Not as impossible as blowing through finite depletable fossile fuels forever does.

            Efficiency can provide temporary help, but the United States will grow by 100 million people in the next 50 years. That wipes out efficiency gains even before time will.

  11. Yep. You don’t have to be a trained geologist to know what a bell curve basically looks like. And if that graph is a bell curve, then I’m the Pope.

    1. Per your untrained eye, does that graph support the Infinite Oil Theory?

  12. it is a bell curve but with a temporary stall just like global warming

  13. OBAMA WON’T LET US DRILL HERE!

    (redneck AM radio)

    1. Yes, tell us how you are a “classical liberal” and “pro-capitalist” again…

      Dipshit.

      1. I am all for drilling, you dumb shit. I even owned stock in Transocean (RIG) once – and got out before it tanked.

        1. You’re either a liar or an idiot that has no idea that what you’ve posted can’t be confirmed. Do you even think before you post such shallow garbage?

          1. I lost money on RIG. Why would I lie about that?

            I see. Only Republicans own stock and are capitalists. Buffett, Gates, Soros, Ellison, Jobs are all communists because they don’t like the GOP.

            You idiots crack me up.

            1. You’re a bigger troll than Mary.

              It’s a wonder they haven’t banned you yet.

              1. How am I a troll? I am a secular independent capitalist small gov advocate. Because I escaped the GOP plantation? I would happily vote for a Barry Goldwater today. But I won’t vote for a Bible-beating SoCon.

                1. You’re a vile troll who espouses nothing and antagonizes constantly for attention.

                  P.S. You realize that half the trolls out there don’t realize they’re trolls, right?

                  They think they’re just being normal.

                2. How am I a troll

                  Here’s what all your posts consist of:

                  *Constant whiny attempts at gaining attention*

                  *Sudden emotional temper tantrums over bullshit*

                  *Sycophantic lies*

                  *Deliberately ignoring actual arguments and constructing new ones so you can push whatever three to six word mantra-lie you’re on today*

                  *Demanding that you are some collection of empty labels despite actively arguing against them, Mr. ‘I love Ayn Rand and ACA is brilliant’.

                  *Empty, sad attempts at narcissistic validation of your fragile ego*

                  You could replace all your posts with one of these statements and they would be exactly the same. Troll, thy name is Buttplug.

                  1. Yeah, the name itself is all troll.

                    When Virginia Postrel looked in comments and said she saw people she hoped to never meet on a Reason cruise, it isn’t far fetched to think it was because she saw someone posting under the name “Palin’s Buttplug”–like that was somehow…normal.

          2. Do you even think

            It has no such capability.

          3. Weigel is a lying JournoList scum.

            1. I really do not think that PB is Weigel. PB is Shrike. Shrike was here when Weigel was here–and Weigel, bless him, isn’t intelligent enough to run a sock. Weigel posted, in the comments, under his own name.

              PB sounds and acts just like Shrike.

              1. Yes, he indeed used to sockpuppet here as Shrike even while he was fouling the place as a contributor.

                I know for a fact that it’s him because they use the same exact terms, talk about the exact same stupid shit, and have the same exact M.O.

    2. Re: Peter Caca,

      OBAMA WON’T LET US DRILL HERE! (redneck AM radio)

      Redneck Reuters?

      1. Gee, down a whole 6% when the juicy basins are mostly all on private land in ND, TX, OK, PA, and SD.

        But while daily output from non-federal lands has risen 60 percent to 5.576 million barrels, production in federal areas has actually fallen 6 percent to 1.658 million.

        And offshore is way up.

        1. shreek is trying for Peak Derp.

        2. Re: Peter Caca,

          Gee, down a whole 6% when the juicy basins are mostly all on private land in ND, TX, OK, PA, and SD.

          Unless a dictatorship was imposed in the US while we were sleeping (in our own beds, not with each other, you homo!), the president cannot simply stop drillers from drilling for oil in private land. That’s the first thing.

          Second, unless you happen to be a star geologist or possess the greatest dowsing machine ever devised, YOU CAN’T FOR FUCK KNOW WHERE THE “JUICIEST” BASINS ARE LOCATED, YOU MORON!

          What producers are complaining about is that even with their applications for exploration on file, they can’t drill on public land because of restrictions and feet-dragging from the Obama administrator. Of course the defenders of the empire will conflate private land drilling with all drilling to show that Obama is the greatest oil man in history, but this is nothing more than torpid sophistry – the kind you like, imagine that!

          1. The location of the basins is well-known.

            http://www.permanan.org/u-s-oil-basins-map/

            And Obama is opening up the Atlantic offshore for the first time.

            Please take your Team RED blinders off.

            1. Re: Peter Caca,

              The location of the basins is well-known.

              You don’t seem to realize there isn’t even a hint of anything inside the federal lands beyond the Rockies. What an interesting geological oddity!

              And Obama is opening up the Atlantic offshore for the first time.

              No! Really? He, the man who wrote two books – himself – is opening the Atlantic offshore? Personally?

              Please take your Team RED blinders off.

              Please put on blinders yourself, because you’ve basked under the brightness of nuestro amado se?or presidente for so long, your brain is almost cooked.

  14. It’s not just the energy suppliers, either. Same thing on the demand side. KB Home offers charging stations as an option on their new homes in California. What if you never had to interact with the homeless people downtown that hang out at the gas station ever again? That’s gotta be worth something!

    Meanwhile, entrepreneurs and early adopters are doing the heavy lifting on making electric cars more and more practical all the time. More options are more practical and more available to more people than they ever have been before. They don’t make much economic sense at $20 or $50 a barrel, but at over the $150 a barrel we were at not so long ago?

    I heard that Darwin was reading and trying to reconcile Adam Smith with Malthus on the Beagle. Saw birds that differed only in the color of their feet–and the niches they had adapted themselves into for nesting. One species still nested on the beach, and the other had moved intp the trees. Yeah, Malthus, there’s only so much beach for the birds to have, but if they listen to Mr. Smith, adapt, and specialize aren’t those supply constraints entirely surmountable?

    Have Malthusians ever been right about anything?

    1. This is the most pretentious thing you’ve ever posted.

      KB Home offers charging stations as an option on their new homes in California.

      So you can roll your pretentious social signalling into your government-subsidized mortgage!

      What if you never had to interact with the homeless people downtown that hang out at the gas station ever again?

      There is more than one gas station, and not all of them are downtown, nor do all people share your disgust of being in the vicinity of the less fortunate.

      Meanwhile, entrepreneurs and early adopters are doing the heavy lifting on making electric cars more and more practical all the time.

      I don’t know if the word “Entrepreneur” can be tortured enough to stretch to cover people who are getting paid in stolen money regardless of any actual results they produce or demand for what they produce. If your next sentence was true, the massive subsidies and tax credits wouldn’t be necessary.

      1. The technology is becoming increasingly viable regardless of how it got there.

        Meanwhile, the price of oil has depended on the U.S. projecting its military power into the Middle East and beyond–for generations.

        Just one example: the CIA overthrew a democratically elected leader in Iran in 1953 because he wanted to become an ally of the USSR and nationalize British oil holdings in Iran.

        Our cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia (and our stationing of troops within Saudi Arabia) before 9/11 sure as hell wasn’t because we had mutual cultural interests!

        Keeping the price of oil low over recent decades has cost the American taxpayer far more than what we’ve paid in subsidies for electric cars. I wonder how competitive electric cars would be without the U.S. taxpayer having subsidized the price of oil with trillions of dollars in military spending?

        Regardless, electric cars and natural gas powered cars are becoming more and more viable as alternatives to oil–regardless of how that technology was developed and, certainly, regardless of whether the early adopters are buying alternatives because they’re pretentiousconcerned about the environment and it’s fashionable, in some quarters, to do so.

        I’m certainly not going to pretend that electric cars aren’t a more viable alternative to $200 oil than they used to be–just because you don’t like environmentalists.

        1. I’m not going to pretend that they are just because the government has dumped billions of dollars into them.

          1. Because the government offered subsidies to buy electric cars, you don’t think the technology has progressed and made them more usable and competitive?

            And yet you think oil is competitive on its own–despite the trillions in effective government subsidies it’s enjoyed over the decades?

            Looks to me like you’re letting your contempt for progressive aesthetics get in the way of your think-bone.

            It’s entirely possible for electric cars to have made technological progress and scale progress–despite government subsidies rather than because of them.

            It’s also entirely possible to oppose government subsidies for electric cars and openly acknowledge that electric cars are more competitive with oil, when oil is over $150 a barrel, than they used to be.

            …AND that they’re more competitive in some sub-markets than others.

            Letting facts fully inform our opinions is what separates us from the progressives. If you want to pick your own facts based on which political outcomes you prefer, then the progressives are keepin’ a seat warm for you, I’m sure.

            1. “Effective government subsidies” being what, exactly? Allowing depletion? Give specific subsidies that oil has gotten, because it’s nothing remotely comparable with solar and electric cars. And if technology has progressed so much for electric, why do they still need subsidies? There are some uses for electric vehicles, in warehouses, mining, and short range transportation, but that doesn’t justify trying to force them on people. But the progress that’s been made on them just isn’t that impressive. Even if oil goes back to $150 a barrel, there are more viable alternatives than electric.

              1. “Effective government subsidies” being what, exactly?

                Huh?

                Hell, pay attention!

                “Meanwhile, the price of oil has depended on the U.S. projecting its military power into the Middle East and beyond–for generations.

                Just one example: the CIA overthrew a democratically elected leader in Iran in 1953 because he wanted to become an ally of the USSR and nationalize British oil holdings in Iran.

                Our cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia (and our stationing of troops within Saudi Arabia) before 9/11 sure as hell wasn’t because we had mutual cultural interests!

                Keeping the price of oil low over recent decades has cost the American taxpayer far more than what we’ve paid in subsidies for electric cars.”

                https://reason.com/blog/2015/03…..nt_5130808

                1. We overthrew Iran in 1953 because of oil

                  We filled the Saudi Desert with American bases should Iran attempt to invade the Saudi oil fields.

                  We cozied up with Saddam Hussein, and the American taxpayer helped him every way we could–because he was fighting a war against Iran.

                  The Iraq War may not have been about oil, but the Persian Gulf War sure as hell was. It was all about kicking the Iraqis out of Kuwait’s oil fields and keeping Saddam Hussein out of Saudi Arabia.

                  We stationed troops in Saudi after the Persian Gulf War, which directly contributed to the problems we’ve had with terrorism since.

                  To what extent did the Persian Gulf War lead to the Iraq War?

                  You want to ignore the trillions the American taxpayer has spent to keep the world’s oil pumping and safe for our consumption–why? Those are effective subsidies.

                  To what extent is our presence in Asia to help balance the threat of the Chinese claiming all the oil in the South China Sea? There are costs to the taxpayer associated with that–for your “subsidy free” oil.

                  The American taxpayer hasn’t spent trillions in military entanglements all over the world to keep the price of electric cars low. Why should we ignore those costs?

                  In addition, the American oil industry still gets billions in direct subsidies every year.

  15. Once again, the commentariat’s scathing skepticism about politically convenient “science” turns out to be way ahead of the intelligentsia’s chin-stroking analysis.

    Quit fighting the wisdom of the commentariat crowd, Ron. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!

    [strokes white cat, cackles maniacally]

    1. We are a free version of the market based prediction markets.

      I wonder how much I could have made off a Palin as Veep nominee in 2007?

      Oddly, I can’t remember who Romney’s running mate was.

  16. I find peak oil people as annoying as overpopulation people. Both underestimate the capacities of the human mind, the best resource we have (used properly, of course).

    1. The human mind can’t create land and can’t create oil. Which is why the inflation-adjusted price of oil is still historically high, and people flooding into the US is forcing people into condos and apartments instead of houses.

      1. and people flooding into the US is forcing people into condos and apartments instead of houses.

        HAHA

        Holy shit that is one of the dumbest fucking things I’ve ever read.

        1. If you believe in infinite oil, it follows that you would believe in infinite land in our metro areas.

      2. Also, citation required.

        1. I would say proof required. One that shows that an infinite immigration into our existing metropolitan areas, can have infinite new houses built on finite land.

      3. “The human mind can’t create land and can’t create oil.”
        Wrong and wrong. Humans have been creating oil from shale and other sources for some time now. They’ve been creating land in the Netherlands for CENTURIES.

        Malthusians, are they EVER right?

  17. Yet even as oil hits historic lows, those of us in the People’s Republic of California are paying $3.50 a gallon. Yeah, I realize a major refinery exploded a few weeks back. But what does that say about this state that a single downed refinery can increase gas by a dollar a gallon in less than a month?

    1. It says the supply chain is not resistant to a blow-out.

      1. “Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!”

      2. Because building new refineries isn’t politically feasible due to the guys you vote for.

        1. Honestly?

          Building new refineries isn’t feasible anyway.

          No one has asked to open new refineries; in fact, they were trying to close one in California (Shell), and the government stopped them!

          Refinery production has gone through major productivity increases over the years. It takes a lot less refinery to make a gallon of gas than it used to.

          Sort of like how your laptop would have required a whole server room 30 years ago, they don’t need anywhere near as much refinery to process the same amount of gasoline as they used to.

    2. IT says: “SUCK IT CALIFORNIA”!!!

  18. what is happening now to U.S. and global oil production and prices was supposed to be impossible according to peak oil theorists.

    You have to take account of the possibility that those “Peak Oil” theorists are economics ignoramuses. The idea that there can be “peak” something runs contra basic economic theory. The price system conveys the information on the demand of a good or commodity, not on the totality of the quantity available on or in the Earth. What these “Peak Oil” proponents are doing is simply assuming the higher than historical price of the good (oil) indicates the physical availability is lower, but that is an incorrect assumption made by someone unfamiliar with the Law of Supply and Demand. A higher price for oil only means either the current demand for the commodity is historically higher than in previous years, or that the demand for the currency is higher (i.e. the value of the currency is shrinking, sellers want more of the currency) or that the supply is being constrained either by design or due to natural occurrences. You cannot rule these factors out so easily, which is what these theorists are doing.

    1. You also cannot rule out that oil is a finite resource that depletes with usage and it’s production has peaked in most of the countries that contain it, including the United States. It remains to be seen if fracking can take us – temporarily (EIA predicts fracking peak in 2019) – above what we did in 1970.

  19. The best thing about the theory of Peak Oil is that it is very falsifiable on account of its being wrong in so very many ways.

    1. What are some of the ways?

      1. I can cite a couple comments of mine from ten years ago, when New York Times Magazine saw fit to ring the alarm on Peak Oil.

        One comment notes that markets and innovation are likely to bring more supply to bear at higher prices.

        But, more fundamentally, another comment notes that even if more supply can’t be brought to bear, the market is still resilient against peak oil because its effects will only and always happen on the margin.

        1. Peak Oil talks about production hitting a maximum and then going into terminal decline. It doesn’t say that higher costs won’t spur production of previously uneconomic deposits. Just that they won’t be enough to overcome the terminal decline of existing production. You could say that it didn’t account for the significant addition of oil from fracking, and that proves it wrong. But the EIA predicts fracking to peak in 2019, which makes that temporary proof to me.

          Peak Oil people certainly believe that it will cause economic problems, but I don’t see an adaption to terminal decline as disproving the prediction of terminal decline. Also, many people who talk about Peak Oil have some optimism regarding society being able to adapt to it.

          1. Ah, okay. You are talking about peak oil rather than Peak Oil.

            Yes, peak oil — the notion that oil is a limited resource and that therefore one day in the near or far future less oil will be produced than the day before — is perfectly rational.

            Peak Oil — the notion that peak oil will bring about the end of civilization as we know it — is what I meant was very falsifiable because it makes utterly ridiculous claims that have to hold on every margin.

  20. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,,

    http://www.work-mill.com

  21. $20/bbl?
    That probably means that CA will raise the taxes on gasoline so a gallon will cost over $5!

  22. Prices plateaued for four years at the highest inflation-adjusted level ever. And yet the Infinite Oil Theory proponents are still optimistic? Even the current prices – after a huge drop – are high by inflation-adjusted historical standards.

    Fracking has given us more oil. Fracking should be viewed as a temporary blessing to help us deal with Peak Oil. Instead we somehow – even with the EIA saying it will peak in 2019 – view it as proof that we can continue to blow through over 6 billion barrels of oil a year forever.

    1. “Fracking should be viewed as a temporary blessing to help us deal with Peak Oil.”
      Blessing!?!?
      Please Jesus!
      There is nothing supernatural going on here! How long the rude crude can be extracted from Mother Dirt rely’s soley on human endeavor and the will to do it.

      1. Is the amount of oil underground infinite?

  23. “The problem with Hubbert’s analysis and that of his many peak oilist devotees is that they overlook how market prices can change the definition of “recoverable resources” by means of encouraging new technologies and the search for new reserves.”

    Take a look at the curve again. Where was technology and the search for new reserves from 1970 to 2008 as oil production continuously decline except for a few years after Alaska came online? After fracking peaks in 2019 – as predicted by the optimistic EIA – we will be right back on the terminal decline line again, despite techology and the search for new reserves.

  24. Hubbert’s forecast referred to conventional production, not conventional production plus shale oil.

    Shale oil production can only be maintained if prices go up. But when prices go up, economic crises take place.

    Finally, U.S. shale oil production is expected to peak a few years from now.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.