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Debunking the Myth of Peak Oil - Why the Age of Cheap Oil is Far From Over (Part 1)

By Dennis Edison | Wed, 17 March 2010 20:06 | 69

If I may, I would like to rebut or add a little objectivity to the flood of “Peak Oil” articles circulating around. When I see another crisis looming in the balance, and dramatized articles that warn of the “Dangers of Peak Oil,” I must question the validity or how this will effect the world, the USA, and you and I personally, and if indeed a crisis is at hand.

As for world oil, if you ask the right questions, there are several new technologies/methods/alternatives and new finds that can easily supply enough hydrocarbon fuel for the next century or more. The latest new find in the news today, a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=PETR4:BZ">Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said its Tupi field may contain as much as 8 billion barrels of oil and natural gas, an amount that could boost the country's reserves by 62 percent.

But you ask, how can one or two new oil fields make a difference? Wrong question, because the finding of new oil is continuous.

Over the past 33 years mankind has consumed more than three times the world’s known oil reserves in 1976 – and today proven oil reserves are nearly double what they were before we started. The story with natural gas is even better – here and around the world enormous amounts of natural gas have been found. More will be found.  But if you had asked in 1976 what the supply of oil would be like given the demand of 2010, you would have come up with the “Peak Oil” theory then, and we would have supposedly run out of oil decades ago; an ongoing impending crisis.

I think the key to the argument of Peak Oil, is that it not only ignores the huge amounts of oil yet to be found, but other hydrocarbon fuels as well. Even if the “theory” holds water, which I argue on its face (or in your face, as some so delightedly pointed out), we will not be out of hydrocarbons and our cars stranded on the side of the road during this century. This is the perceived “crisis” of  Peak Oil that tells us that declining production and increasing demand will cause a disruption in supply.

But if we are to be limited in our driving, because of  gasoline shortages, we can simply switch over to other alternatives and install a methane tank to convert over to natural gas, right now, today. Or switch to electric. How about fuel cells? Carry a kite or put up a sail. Limited driving due to shortages is the same as higher prices, and are not a crisis, unless the majority can no longer afford it.

There will never be "no oil" in your lifetime, so relax, and discern the truth for yourself when you get the facts. If you are old enough to read this, your shiny car will have plenty of gasoline for your lifetime. You may not be able to afford it, but the world cannot possibly run out. Allow me to explain.

Whenever there is GREAT change, there is also GREAT opportunity.  It is impossible to be otherwise. Instead of worrying about the black hole right now, look for new opportunities... it won't take long, they're EVERYWHERE.

Now that oil is $80/bbl, it opens the door to production of different grades of oil and different kinds of oil, and new places that oil was never thought to exist.

America has developed new technologies to develop oil production from the many known shale oil fields containing a trillion barrels of oil, that has never been tapped until two years ago, because it was too expensive to extract, and the technology has not yet been improved enough to tackle it before then. But money solves a lot of problems, and $100/bbl oil would certainly do it. You will have to be surprised how fast the technology will ramp up when there's a profit to be made. Just type in “shale oil reserves” into your little Search Bar, and you’ll come up with hundreds of new projects that have never before been thought possible. And these are primarily domestic, where the oil in America was thought to be depleted!

Ever heard of the Bakken Formation? No? Why not? GOOGLE it, or follow this link.  It will blow your mind.  a href="http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911">http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911
At first the Bakken field was thought to be the largest domestic oil discovery in the USA since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, but has since been downsized, then increased 25 fold by the USGS when shale production is taken into account. There’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 40 years straight. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! Well, except we know those damn oil barrons are going to gouge us, but cheap oil nonetheless.

Another example of huge unexpected and unknown reserves are the "Coal Oil" sands in Canada that they are already extracting by truck and converting to usable oil. It's slower to extract and convert than to simply produce liquid oil, but the one field they are producing from today is bigger than the Saudi field, which is the biggest in the world. And that isn't the only "Coal Oil" field in Canada, and certainly not the only one in the world. These Coal Oil fields contain almost as much oil as the Saudi Arabian oil fields.

Most people don't realize that we only produce about 20% of the oil from a producing oil sand (conventional production), and leave the rest of it there because it was too expensive to produce by secondary or tertiary recovery methods. That is no longer true, so the natural oil reserves just doubled, when the price of oil doubled.

One more real obvious report is the the Stansberry Report from 2006. Hidden only 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies several more billion barrels (again, this report was an overestimation in the beginning, but still a huge find).

Governments don’t care about the truth or the facts and are good at creating crisis after crisis, so that they can be your friend and be the only one to solve the problem, that is, by taking control, taking your rights, enacting more laws, forming more committees out of their cousins, and generally living like Kings off of years of perceived crisis. Oh yeah, and they can take over whole countries if they need to and the gullible public is behind them on an invasion, and they can get enough young people to fight their special-interest wars for them.

No sir,  the only real perceived crisis here is that the great masses of people will figure out that there is not a shortage, but rather an EXCESS of oil, for centuries to come, and that the price of oil should be back down around $20/bbl. Whatta ya’ know, we’ve been lied to again.

When I was in college in the 1970's, the known problem of that time was that temperatures were getting "colder." By the year 2030, it would be so cold that plants could not live and man would face extinction without drastically changing things. That was to be in my lifetime.

But now the "experts" claim "Global Warming." It's all just a theory, like Evolution, but after so many "experts" parrot the "truth" in the media, and even colleges and universities begin teaching it as truth, then it becomes "truth,' even when at best it's a 50-50 shot. I’ve read that 63% of those surveyed were “concerned” about Global Warming. Geez, don’t people even know how to ask the right questions anymore?

Why make a crisis out of something? There's money to be made, control to be taken, and new gov't offices to fill. And of course, the 30-year cooling trend that prompted the global cooling scare in the mid-70s abruptly ended in the late 70s, replaced by with a 20-year warming trend that peaked in 1998.

Watch this short video from  the founder of the Weather Channel how he blows Al Gore's climate change scam out the window showing the fallacy of the concept of "global warming". 
a href="http://www.kusi.com/home/78477082.html?video=pop&t=a">www.kusi.com/home/78477082.html?video=pop&t=a

What I’m really arguing is not only is there enough oil, but really an excess, but that the new discoveries and technologies and alternatives will buy us enough time for the whole Peak Oil thing to be prolonged into the next century, which means there is no crisis. At least, there is nothing yet to have a war over. No, natural gas cannot replace oil, but all of the alternatives together with new technologies and hydrocarbon finds shows me there is no crisis or emergency of shortage during this century. I would think that within this century, some yet undiscovered energy source or method of extracting energy from hydrogen or even something as crazy as a water fuel cell will be discovered. Biofuels look promising as a cheap growable and rampable alternative to diesel fuel, already field testing. Just convert all the trucks on the road away from oil dependency, and you've made a huge impact.

Part 2 of this article can be found at: a href="/admin/articles/edit/article-debunking-the-myth-of-peak-oil-why-the-age-of-cheap-oil-is-far-from-over-part-2.html">Peak Oil debunked - Part 2

By. Dennis Eidson for OilPrice.com the no.1 source for oil prices and crude oil information

Leave a comment

  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    To describe Peak Oil as a "theory" is like describing sunset as a "theory". When something happens over and over again it is called a "phenomenon" and not a "theory".

    I would invite interested readers to review, not the claims of the "oil industry" or the prognostications of "experts", but the historical data on production and consumption to see if you can spot any "peaks".

    The British Petroleum Statistical Review is hardly a left-wing, enviro-kook publication. Rather, it is a careful compilation of oil industry statistics put together by one of the largest companies in the business.

    These data can be reviewed in a series of interactive data graphics at the Energy Export Databrowser:

    http://mazamascience.com/OilExport

    Even a quick review of nations like Indonesa, Egypt, the UK, Norway, Mexico, Argentina, ... will demonstrate that peaks are a phenomenon, not a theory.

    What about the US and the nations we import from? Poke around the databrowser and answer these questions for yourself.
  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    The writer seems unable to distinguish between stock and flow - it's not the size of the tank that matters, but the size of the tap. Even more fundamental is the energy returned over energy invested (ERoEI), which has steadily declined from 100:1 in the heyday of the 1930s in Texas, to about 15:1 today. Once you spend a kiloJoule of energy to extract a kiloJoule, it's no longer a resource - no matter how much is in the ground.
    This cornucopian 'thinking' is the main reason why we are entering the greatest crisis the human species has ever encountered. Watch Chris Martenson's "Crash Course" on the web for a very detailed analysis of our predicament.
  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    This article is long on belief, short on facts and devoid of economics. As one writer above points out: "It's the flows, stoopid". As for all the silliness about shale (kerogen - not oil) and the tar sands (coal oil? - never heard that before) I would point out that there is no possibility whatsoever of producing shale. Sure there is a little liquid here and there and quite a lot of gas, but it will never be produced in sufficient flows to make a difference. The dollar economics while relevant are not paramount. The energy economics are the key factor and producing shale produces zero net energy. Tar sands produce at a ratio of around 3 - far too low to sustain us. Shale and tar are just a distraction. Conventional crude production has been stuck at around 73m bpd since 2004. Tupi will make no difference to that. We need to find the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every 2 years. Natural gas can provide a useful buffer, but its't oil.
  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    The writer is onto something very interesting. I would like to see how far he can take it.

    The stale old Peak Oil arguments go all the way back to the early 1900s. He is correct that we have burned far more than total reserves were believed to be -- over and over.

    There is indeed a crisis that we are facing, but it has nothing to do with global warming doom or peak oil doom. It is something much more dangerous.
  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    You know that the "cooling scare" of the 1970's wasn't widely spread? It's a myth. Yes, a myth. Some people believd in it, just as some people today beleive antropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases have no connection to global warming. Myths. And honestly, you haven't grasped what peak oil is about. You start talking about running out of oil, but that's not what peak oil is about. Sorry, you haven't "debunked" anything at all, you're just spreading myths/disinformation/propaganda.
  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    "But now the "experts" claim "Global Warming." It's all just a theory, like Evolution, but after so many "experts" parrot the "truth" in the media, and even colleges and universities begin teaching it as truth, then it becomes "truth,' even when at best it's a 50-50 shot. I’ve read that 63% of those surveyed were “concerned” about Global Warming. Geez, don’t people even know how to ask the right questions anymore?"

    So you are a denialist of the Theory Evolution, Anthropogenic Climate change and Peak oil. Nuff said! BTW, "Theory", in science, doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.
  • Anonymous on March 18 2010 said:
    To hold us the Bakken Fields as proof that peak oil will not be a near term problem is absurd. Even the article the author referenced shows the USGS believes there is less than 4 billion barrels available. Since the US consumes about 9 billion barrels a year, this wouldn't even last 6 months.

    The 8 billion barrels in the much touted Tupi fields will not make a dent in the 30 billion bbl/year global oil demand.

    The article author is long on wishes (or agenda), but comes us short on analysis, at least for this article.
  • Anonymous on March 19 2010 said:
    The article is long on assertions and short on facts. Fact: 70% of the world's giant oil fields are declining. At a 7% annual rate (EIA).

    Good luck Mr. editor. You will need it

    And evolution is just a theory? We need to send you back to high school ...
  • Anonymous on March 19 2010 said:
    1: Yes, I have heard of the Bakken formation. There is 4.3 billion theoretical barrels available from it. North Americas Annual usage is ~9 billion barrels, I don't see a problem solved here.

    2: Shale oil, is NOT light sweet crude, by any stretch of thee imagination. It is difficult and energy intensive to extract, and will not bring you $16/barrel oil. More like $216 !

    3: All the major oil fields in the world, including Gawar in Saudi Arabia, are in decline.

    4: Remember the October stock market crash of '08? It directly followed $120 a barrel oil. Why was there $120 a barrel oil? Because demand was outstripping supply. You can expect a series of oil shocks over the next few years, assuming the economy can even survive it a second time!

    5: Yes, the government is probably shall we say being "economical with the truth". The government doesn't yet openly admit or discuss peak oil. Why is this? Because, there is no real solution to peak oil, unless you plan to exterminate around 6 billion people.

    6: I see little math in this article to back up your centuries of oil production claim.

    7: If the world is "awash with oil", why has Russia already staked a claim on the Arctic, because there MIGHT be oil there. Why does the US want to drill in ANWAR. And why is the possibility that Iran (a major oil producer, near other oil producers, i.e Saudi Arabia) might be building Nuclear weapons such a problem?

    Because, we are ALREADY running seriously short on oil.

    Les
  • Anonymous on March 19 2010 said:
    Jonathan points out that when something like production peaks happen over and over, it's called a phenomenon, not a theory. Fine, call it what you will, Peak Oil is a phenomenon, much more palatable than a "crisis." It's like the phenomenon of a rising sun; my point exactly. Peak Oil has been a phenomenon every year since 1910, only a few fall for the "crisis theory" and get up in arms.

    There's no doubt that we are approaching a Peak Oil problem that cannot be allayed without more vigorous alternatives, but the point of the article: Is it a "crisis?" One commenter blows things out of proportion by stating we need to find a Saudi Arabia oil field every two years, why? Do we use that much? Another commenter says "Once you spend a kiloJoule of energy to extract a kiloJoule, it's no longer a resource." Really, unless you double your money on it, and what is it I'm burning in my car? Another says I haven't debunked anything because I talked about running out of oil instead of Peak Oil specifically. Where do you get your numbers from?

    Other commenters like Will are reading into the article what they wish, like "the Bakken Fields as proof that peak oil will not be a near term problem." No, there is no one thing that will do that, as the article states. But that's why the article is so lengthy, to give a sampling of the dozens of finds and technologies and new methods that reduce a "crisis" to a phenomenon. No, the Tupi field will not make a dent in world demand, but will five Tupi fields? Any assertion that Tupi will not be enough is no less likely than finding 20 or 50 more Tupi fields.

    Several commenters get upset when you pick on their favorite Theory and suggest it may not be fact, then dismiss the entire article because it too is suggested to be a theory rather than a crisis. A little short on logic aren't we? If you can't rebut, just label them to dismiss them, right? Do you just post to show your frustration? Might it be that Global Warming is just another phenomenon that happens every 50 or 100 years or 200 year cycles? All the supercomputers in the world can't count all of the presumptions they made for input into the fastest supercomputer to compute an answer within 300 years for the Global Warming Theory. And you view this answer as fact?

    We know intuitively that Darwinism can accomplish some things, but not others. I have no problems with the evolution Darwin originally proscribed in biological science, e.g., bacterial resistance to antibiotics, but when the ape came out of the swamp, and they started teaching this to my children as fact in science, that became an attack by Humanist ignorance (or design) against me. Elephants do not evolve from rabbits. As an extension of the Big Bang theory, and Old Earth of 4.5 billion years, also purported by the Evolutionists, unsupportable; completely outside the field of biology. The evolution of man, Old Earth, zero evidence from the Evolutionists, all a myth, easily refutable from the geologic record or fossil record. Then they go on to say that Noah’s Flood is a fable or myth, which tries to make the Bible false, and becomes an attack on foundational and religious beliefs with a theory that is more myth than science.

    While the original biological evolution by Darwin has its uses, I'm surprised the Evolution of Man is still debated; call any scientist at any of the top 100 universities in the world and ask them. Use your cell; I'll wait.


  • Anonymous on March 20 2010 said:
    Peak oil is not about the future - it's about the past. It's about the arrival of the geopolitical peak. Non-OPEC oil, or about 60% of world output, has apparently peaked and so OPEC is now in a position that they have dreamed of for thirty years. Moreover, they are now smart enough to realize their strength. To have an oil price of $80/b in a weak global macroeconomy tells the entire story. Mr Eidson should make some attempt to understand it, rather than dealing in fantasies. And incidentally, they are only doing what they are told to do in the last chapters of the microeconomics textbooks.

  • Anonymous on March 20 2010 said:
    Be interesting to see what happens to world oil supplies if Iran and Israel nuke each other. It won't be pretty.
  • Anonymous on March 20 2010 said:
    The Bakken deposits haven't proved anything about peak oil. What has happened to the noble art of censorship that the editors of this site allow such an absurd statement to be published.
  • Anonymous on April 09 2010 said:
    I personally feel that over the next few years/decades we will see oil price occilations correlated directly with economic boom/bust cycles. These cycles will reduce additional oilfield discoveries by eroding the capital of oil companies slated for exploration. These oscillations will continue until major economies collapse or until the ruling class are unable to maintain the myth of a sound economy.

    I don't think that we will be able to meet the resource demands of growing world populations and the inevitable increased standards of living which the developing world is striving to achieve.

    I do think that people like ther person who wrote the above article who attempt to assure others that there is "no crisis" are exacerbating the problem. The longer we put off dealing with the consequences of oil demand outstripping supply, the worse off we will be as a species.

  • Anonymous on April 14 2010 said:
    Dennis, you are, I suppose, within your epistemological rights to argue against peak oil (though I do not think you are right) but to then tie this together with young earth creationism as you appear to do in your follow up post is to debunk your own article by associating it with a demonstrably false position. The kinds of people who follow the peak oil issue tend to be interested in geology. These are the wrong kind of people to try to convince that the earth is 6000 years old particularly if that supposition is not salient to the peak oil issue –and it isn’t. To make matters worse you seem to be confusing evolution with the age of the earth. The earth was first determined to be old by 19th century Christian geologists because the evidence was overwhelming, not because they were trying to accommodate evolution which had not yet been posited as a scientific theory.
  • Anonymous on April 18 2010 said:
    1.Why doesn't anyone have a striaght answer as to how much oil there is to go around? I've heard everything from we have more than we need, to we will run out in the next few years. I can't commit to any "theories" because I don't want to look like a crazy person holding a "the end is near" sign. I also don't want to be unprepared for change. 2. I think about what life would be like without a reliable energy source, and it is back to the olden days before cars, electricity, and ,oh my god, internet! Then I start to think, well maybe people wouldn't be so stressed out about the office because they were farming, building, and just living all day instead. I know that's not all there is to it, but you get what i mean. By the way, should we be trying to sustain this crazy, stressful, overly excessive society? Whether we have oil or not? 3. And in the case of alternate energy sources, if we try to sustain our lifestyle with energy sources that could never compete with oil, that could be more stressful than giving in and changing society to meet our supply of energy. If we think about it that way, it is not a "crisis." It's change. 4. Dennis competely through all credibilty out of the window when he mentioned that science was trying to disproove religion. It doesn't try. It just does. Get over it.
  • Anonymous on April 20 2010 said:
    i am just beginning to educate myself about peak oil and its implications and I am trying to be open to all of the arguments. What concerns me is that it only took a few coherent arguments supporting the peak oil "phenomenon" to turn the author to completely incoherent, rambling nonsense. I would be able to think more clearly about his position if he made his points with more facts and less emotion. and for the record, just because you went there, I definitely don't believe that God and science are mutually exclusive. Thank you Colin for helping me to figure out what Mr.Eidson was referring to with the old earth rambling. Is there some reason I need to be caught up in this evolution vs. religion crap to figure out when peak oil will hit?
  • Anonymous on April 28 2010 said:
    Peak Oil is an argument in support of a PERCEPTION. The perception is one of "artificial scarcity" because there are too many unknown factors to assert any REAL scarcity. Scarcity, whether real or artificial, is what creates profits. If you tell someone your product is abundant and available everywhere, why should they invest in your business or even purchase your product? If we had to do so we could reduce our oil consumption by 30 percent in a very short time, perhaps a few weeks or months. How? By MANDATORY car pooling. Make it a $100 fine if there is LESS THAN two people in your automobile. Turn the thermostats back.Close down shopping malls. God knows we have more than enough places to shop nowadays. There are heaps of ways we can reduce our consumption.How much of a supply crisis would we have if we reduced consumption by 30 percent?
  • Anonymous on April 29 2010 said:
    This is my problem with everyone that is on the “myth” side of peak oil. They have lots of anecdotal references, but no hard facts.“One commenter blows things out of proportion by stating we need to find a Saudi Arabia oil field every two years, why? Do we use that much?”To maintain any form of worldwide growth, even at 2-3% yes. This doesn’t take into account China and India. They could each easily add 100,000,000 cars over the next few years as their emerging middle class wants the American dream. Not to mention all the consumer products that requires oil. Think about this – the US is 5% of the worlds population, yet we consume 25% of the resources. If you do the math – addChina and india, you now have 40+% of the worlds population. If the consume as the US does you now have 8 times the consumption. We currently use about 80,000,000 bbls daily, multiply that by 8 and you have 640 million daily.
  • Anonymous on April 29 2010 said:
    Another commenter says "Once you spend a kiloJoule of energy to extract a kiloJoule, it's no longer a resource." Really, unless you double your money on it, and what is it I'm burning in my This is just a stupid reply. If it takes 2 gallons of oil to get 1 out of the ground, why bother? Why not just burn the 2 gallons? This is oil company logic – we can keep selling oil and making a profit – the end result is the same, you run out.
  • Anonymous on April 29 2010 said:
    We know intuitively ……….. foundational and religious beliefs with a theory that is more myth than science. I don’t know what the hell you are talking about here, other than it sounds like the ranting of a religious zealot. And I think therein lies the problem. All those on the myth side seem to have an agenda (they are in oil or are politicians) or are religious wackos that expect god to come to the rescue instead of taking personal responsibility.As to the tar sands, shale oil etc, these are environmental disasters. It takes almost as much oil to harvest as what you get. Hydrogen is another myth, and shows your ignorance on the subject. Hydrogen, much like a battery is a storage device, not fuel. You have to create the hydrogen from something. The most viable is propane. The rato of propane to hydrogen is something like 1100 to 1.
  • Anonymous on May 24 2010 said:
    Recently I saw a projection of a world population of 20 billion by 2030. That alone should make one realise that peak oil is real. The only thing that would preclude that would have to be a return to the dark ages in economic decline or a world wide plague of biblical proportions. Remember that in the 1950's King Hubbert predicted US oil production to peak in the mid 70's which it did around 1975 (OPEC must have been reading Hubbert as well) The USA used to EXPORT oil. Now we import about 70% of our consumption. One would be smart to learn about Hubbert and his work if one was to understand to what Peak Oil actually referrs.http://www.hubbertpeak.com/All I can say for a fact is the major oil company which I work for is installing new lines for refining Algae. I dont think they would be investing those millions if there was nothing to it.
  • Anonymous on June 29 2010 said:
    what are you talking about?? :o If you consume as much oil as you produce, you're not actually producing.You seems to say that the we will not run out of oil, it's just going to be terribly expensive.I say, open your eyes and look at the big picture:expensive oil on an economy which has run for 100y on cheap oil => many business models won't be relevant => bankruptcies => loss of jobs => less consumption, including oil => declining oil price and traded volumes => investments won't be made into new very high tech oil harvesting => we are going to run out of oil faster.it might be that the market will die instead to taking in higher oil price.
  • Anonymous on July 27 2010 said:
    Mr. Eidson has NO grasp of the issues: he doesn't understand that Peak Oil and running out of oil are two different things, nor does he grasp EROEI. That last is enough to ease all my concern that he might be on to something.Confused: science doesn't disprove religion - many notable scientists were (and are) religious believers (whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc.).Dennis: I'm a zoologist who accepts the theory of evolution (as a good, workable theory, a work in progress). I'm also a committed Christian. I don't "believe in" evolution. A good scientist does NOT "believe in" theories. They accept them, test them, modify them as new data becomes available. Your data about oil is not new to us, nor is it game-changing. Peak Oil is still undebunked.
  • Anonymous on August 15 2010 said:
    The peaking of any finite resource is simply fact. What's at issue is what the effects of destabilization and rising costs of petro fuels and feed stocks will be. When considering such effects and the feasibility and possible economic scenarios in relation to alternative energy sources, one must consider really big factors like Net Energy, and human standards of living.Personally, I hope that your sentiments turn out to be correct, that there will be no supply side resource shortages in my lifetime. Unfortunately your article rather serves to reenforce the notion that effective mitigation of resource limits is not likely to occur, due lack of understanding. :-P
  • Anonymous on August 18 2010 said:
    The global cooling scare was never of a magnitude close to that of anthropogenic global warming today, nor was it ever backed by a significant number of qualified scientists. It appeared in one issue of Time magazine based on research that got torn to shreds by its peer reviewers. I recommend watching the videos from youtube user potholer54 about the issue.
  • Anonymous on September 18 2010 said:
    Ask yourself a simple question: Why, why, why would Saudi Arabia, the US and other developed countries, be drilling off-shore, where it's 10x more expensive to get oil from under-water fields, than it is to get it under the land, if it has so many other new, cheaply accessible places to discover and extract oil from? It DOESN'T. There is NO NEW EASILY EXTRACTABLE CHEAP AND ABUNDANT OIL TO FIND. That is what peak oil is about, NOT about what's left. It's about how expensive is it to get what is left....and the expense to get it goes up and up and easy oil diminishes. A business doesn't go after a resource in the most expensive way first! It choosest the most expensive option last! Of course! And if it does, then that tells you that the easiest and cheapest ways of getting oil are exhausted. SIMPLE!!This means that the world will suicide itself because it will become too expensive to obtain energy, and consumption is already outstripping resources. Do the math.
  • Anonymous on September 18 2010 said:
    Ask yourself why the developed world is going after oil under places like the polar ice caps. Ask yourself why we and others are going after oil under thousands of feet of ocean water. Ask yourself why we are boiling tarsands to extract oil. It is VASTLY more expensive to develop, exploit, and use oil from these sources, and yet all the world, including Saudi Arabia, are digging wells to get at oil under the most expensive circumstances.Companies don't operate at a loss. They operate to make money. If oil is being sought after in these places, than by DEFINITION, the easiest and cheapest places to find oil are USED UP. They wouldn't be going after oil in these places unless it's a last resort.We're just used to thinking of oil rigs off-shore and in other places because we've never thought deeper about them.Remember- tarsands, shale oil, oil rock, are NOT cheap, liquid oil. They are even more expensive to get..
  • Anonymous on November 12 2010 said:
    Developing oil sites and keeping the price of oil high are to different things. Remember oil is a control factor. The more sites you control,the bigger the influence you have on the world stage. Your confusing just making money with the other political aspects of controlling the worlds energy supply. Why do you were in the middle east? why did we not have a type of Marshal plan for alternative fuel that would have really kitted there butts? Could you imagine the billions spent on war diverted this way . their would have been a renaissance.
  • Anonymous on November 19 2010 said:
    "I would think that within this century, some yet undiscovered energy source or method of extracting energy from hydrogen or even something as crazy as a water fuel cell will be discovered."A BIG bet. Until then, let's tread on our reserves carefully, OK?
  • Anonymous on December 03 2010 said:
    I can explain the problem here. The author lacks basic math skills. The USA consumes roughly 7 billion barrels of oil per year. Somehow the author managed to translate a U.S. Geological Survey assessment of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken Formation into "There’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 40 years straight." I have to thank you for making clear the complete insanity of your position. Here are the numbers http://www.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_home#tab2.What we have here is a massive system of just in time production and delivery of petroleum that has been allowed to grow like unchecked athlete's foot. We also have a lot of the basic life support systems of our society tied to this flow of petroleum. The system's elasticity, its give, is in the waste factor. So I feel there is room for optimism.But the author is a tool.
  • Anonymous on January 04 2011 said:
    I love how the writer doesn't take into consideration exactly how much oil is used everyday, which is approximately 50-60 million barrels worth. Now, some reserves are said to hold billions, even as much as 600 billion...but even 600 billion barrels would only sustain the earth for approximately 11 days. Now I don't know about the rest of you, but we as a whole...and by whole I mean Earth, need to drastically change our rate of consumption or we will face a true crisis bringing the onset of living equated to the North Koreans. A living of famine, drought, fighting, hostility, starvation, disease....just to name a few. Pretty much anything that is created takes oil, even the clothes you wear. I am truely scared for the impending crisis we will have to face, but I know nothing will be done to stop it.
  • Anonymous on January 04 2011 said:
    Peak oil isn't about depleting 100% of the world's oil supply. All of the easiest oil to tap has been extracted. Usually the last 30% of a reserve isn't extracted because it is too costly. You have to consider energy return on energy invested(EROEI). Peak oil is about the peak of cheap abundant oil. Everyone wants to live like Americans and that is not feasible. People are just too stupid and greedy and don't even think about their own kid's futures.
  • Anonymous on January 04 2011 said:
    I think the real danger of Peak Oil is not going to come from the scientific facts. Those are fairly well documented and difficult to debunk. The moral issues that surround Peak Oil will force many to be blinded to the harsh realities. If you knew when you were going to die how would you act will no longer be a hypothetical question. If a person decides to avoid answering this question it will be answered for them!
  • Anonymous on January 05 2011 said:
    Political peak oil, courtesy of Obama and company. Feels just like the real thing if you don't bother to think about it.
  • Anonymous on January 06 2011 said:
    Currently there is about 6 million barrels per day of excess capacity sitting idle. We are far from global peak oil, if there ever will be such a thing. I have read countless books, websites and blogs about the pending oil peak and ensuiing disaster.Peak oil has been preached since we started using it on a industrial scale. Peak oil in America is mostly due to us not exploring enough due to environmental concerns. That's why we go offshore. (Wait till oil prices go through the roof, then everyone will very quickly open up their backyards for drilling). I can find more proof of incorrect predictions about impending oil doom, collapse and peak oil than actual proof of it being true or ever coming to fruition.There is more than enough energy in the world (and I'm not specifically talking about oil, but energy in general), we just have to develop the technology to extract it. Like a Saudi oil minister said, the stone age did not end due to a lack of stones!
  • Anonymous on February 07 2011 said:
    Debunking the 'myth' of peak oil? Wishful thinking-that we are going to find *more* oil-is NOT debunking 'peak oil'. Optimisism that the energy crisis will not happen in this century--that's not debunking either. In fact, it's grimly humorous to dismiss a crisis as something our grand-children will be afflicted with-not us.One would have to prove Hubbert's 1950's statements as erroneous, but he was proven correct, right? Oil production 'peaked' in the USA in the early 70's, contrary to expectations. An irony: Oil Companies commonly state "What--oil production decline? Why, we just had our best year!!" Yes, at 'peak', you do produce a lot!! but eventually, it will decline. There is no Plan B for the world economy, if a plentiful supply of cheap fossil fuels is unavailable.Here's a summary: we had around 2 trillion barrels of oil to start with. we have used about 1 trillion. leaves us with 1 trillion. we use 30 billion per year. do the math. & try watching CRUDE AWAKENING.
  • Anonymous on February 08 2011 said:
    If someone were to ask me why I was writing a new book on energy economics, I would cite an article of this nature - which should not have been published in the United States of America, where there is already an overload of stupidity on the part of movers and shakers. How many times do I have to say it: when the oil price can reach 147, then peak oil is trivial.Wake up authors. Learn the difference between sense and nonsense.
  • Anonymous on February 10 2011 said:
    The magical thinking of a cornucopian. I suppose the author also believes, like his spiritual antecedent that scientifically illiterate Julian Darley, that if we exhaust all resources on this planet, that the market will simply provide another one.
  • Anonymous on February 11 2011 said:
    If the author set out to create a storm of controversy he succeeded brilliantly. If he set out to 'inform' and to 'enlighten' then, judging from the tsumami of adverse comments, he failed miserably. But the comments themselves probably enlightened as much as the article apparently misinformed. But then I guess that is whast controversy is all about...
  • Anonymous on February 13 2011 said:
    Peak oil is a real thing. It is not a renewable resource. There for it has a beginning and an end to it's story. The name "Peak Oil" comes from the most that is produced at one time at the limit of being half the current KNOWN resources. Once that point is breached there will be a decline of oil that will be produced or pumped. As supply goes down the prices will rise. Hence the meaning of peak oil. They do not know how much of the resource is left and available but there is a steady decline in product with increases in population. Which does not correlate with the economics of the world (means more people + more products = more money.) But so does more people + less Products = more money = War/famine/severe decline in money soon after. Wonder why Obama created a farm at the White House. All you have to do is listen to the President and the subtle signs they are giving(watch the Disney Channel commercials with M. Obama) and you have your story right there.
  • Anonymous on February 28 2011 said:
    The author uses the Bakken and Tupi finds as examples of how there is more oil "out there" just waiting to be pumped out of the ground. The thing he misses is that such finds were common 100 years ago in the U.S., 50 years ago in the Middle East, to a lesser extent in the deepwater areas of the world today. But in every location they are becoming less and less common, while becoming more and more expensive to find and extract. It is this reduction in finds that truly holds up the peak oil theory.Oh and incidentally, I've never heard of the "Law" of Evolution, so apparently it is still a theory, just like Relativity. More than a hypothesis, less than a fact.
  • Anonymous on April 14 2011 said:
    I see that the author is a global warming denier and a Creationist (same difference) so this article is hardly science-oriented. I'd wager that at least 80% of AGW deniers are Creationists. Whenever you see someone claim that evolution is "just a theory" you know who you're dealing with and it's not a critical thinker.It's just more Cornucopian denial and endless-greener-pastures rhetoric. Such people willfully ignore scale & time comparisons between KNOWN oil peaks in the U.S. (1970) and the North Sea (2000) and the world as a whole. What makes the world so immune to the same phenomenon, just at a later date? You can't put off that date forever and it has to occur in someone's lifetime!What would the author have said in a conversation with M.K. Hubbert back in the mid 60s? You can guess the answer to that, but here we are 40 years after the U.S. peak. Alaska peaked in the late '80s as a subset of U.S. production but some still insist it never will.
  • Anonymous on April 17 2011 said:
    Is oil a FINITE RESOURCE? If there is so much cheap oil, why are corporations searching for it on the ocean floor? Why spend 100 times more pumping it off-shore if it is so plentiful and "yet to be discovered" on land? Pity NOBODY heeded the 1970's warnings, thanks to MORONS like this, we still have 14 mpg. JUST BRILLIANT! Listen to T Boone Pickens, try to do the math and please locate some common sense!
  • Anonymous on June 12 2011 said:
    it is laughable to see an oil website declare peak oil as nonsense, when the fact that oil companies are drilling ever more dangerous areas such as deep ocean trenches shows how desperate they are getting,Oil companies don't have to prove resurves and people simply have to go off of heresay from them, so we will never know when oil reserves begin running out and supply demand pays little factor as oil companies recieve much more per barrel in profit than expense.prices will remain fairly level right till the end, than a dramatic increase will accur and that will be the end of oil.
  • Anonymous on June 24 2011 said:
    Peak oil is a form of negative speculation and it is used by people to push their own agenda.From this arises two outcomes - the oil companies getting richer, or being forced to find an oil alternative - effectively ending the oil industry. Of course, one side won't want the other to happen, so we are at a balancing game where our money is being siphoned, and no efforts to find alternatives have been made. America never depleted its oil reserves- it just slowed down its extraction so it could save it in the event that it can't get foreign oil. It was thought that oil was a finite resource, but now that doesn't seem to be the case- fossil fuels may arise out of a continuous process that "gaps" every few million years or so. And there is theory that fossil fuels may not even be "fossil" that is, they may be inorganic. Of course, oil is something that is thousands of feet underground, so it is very easy for people to make up numbers and control our livelihood.
  • Anonymous on June 25 2011 said:
    Sorry, but peak oil real, and there is no point in trying to convince intelligent people that this is not the case. All they have to do is to study the history of oil in the U.S. Of course, even more real than peak oil is real money - or serious money as I call it in my new energy economics textbook - and for that reasonyou can knock on any door and find some know-nothing who will tell you that peak oil is nonsense.
  • Anonymous on June 30 2011 said:
    How can you challenge a theory in science? Oil is a natural resource... Natural resource**, it will be gone at some point and that point is rapidly approaching. There's nothing to dispute, challenge, etc., the evidence is all there for you.
  • Anonymous on July 12 2011 said:
    i use geological studies everyday in my chosen profession all hype aside i can tell you 2 things that are fact first is there have been no major oil finds on this planet since 1968 at the current rate we use 1000 barrels for every one we find and secondly with the exception of oceans antartica and a few mountain ranges wich by the way cant have oil under them by deffiniton there mountains the entire planet has been maped and explored so the likley hood of finding new deposits is extremley low to start with and gets lower everyday
  • Anonymous on July 13 2011 said:
    Now this is what we want, and have lacked untio a few years ago in energy economics: PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THINGS LIKE PEAK OIL, AND CAN DISCUSS THEM INTELLIGENTLY.I dropped out of the global warming discussion because here in Sweden it is carried on by a collection of know-nothings who miss the point. As for peak oil, I can only wish that the gentleman who wrote this would show up in one of my lectures on oil or nuclear. Assuming that he is against nuclear, he would get the education he needs.
  • Anonymous on August 06 2011 said:
    I have never wanted to believe something is a myth so badly in all my life and yet I cannot. We are running out of oil and we will eventually run out. Fact. It will happen in our life times. Our Governments are doing nothing. Recently Saudi Arabia concluded a $300 Billion deal with GE to build 16 Nuclear reactors.... Thats all the proof I need.
  • Anonymous on August 08 2011 said:
    As a rule I avoid anything with the word 'debunking' in the title. In my experience, a 'debunker' usually has a political agenda to misinform or to write a personal criticism without much foundation or intelligence. Often thety are paid by unscrupulous parties to write nonsense so as to try to knock down the open minded and enquiring amongst us. They can also be conservative minded people weho are simply afraid of enquiring open minds. This is why I generally avoid 'debunking' articles.
  • Anonymous on September 13 2011 said:
    From time immemorial, the human race has not only survived but progressed due to thoughts and ability to peep into truth into deep center much earlier before they are self evident.Well done, nourish your and nurture your this "precious natural resource".
  • Anonymous on October 05 2011 said:
    This article was written over a year ago, yet I still find it stupefying.To say peak oil is a theory that can be debunked is 100% false. Oil is a finite resource and we will run out some day. The question then is when will we run out?To think that we can keep up with global demand from emerging markets by finding new oil resources is quite a risk. We can't simply cut down on oil by carpooling. Oil is used for EVERYTHING. No oil- no electricity, transportation, local supermarkets stocked with food, etc. It is ignorant to call this very fact a myth. You show even more ignorance when you comment that oil can net you more money. Oil IS money. When oil becomes scarce (and it will, it is finite), money will be worth nothing and oil will be our currency (it actually already is). People won't trade oil for US dollars when oil is scarce.How can you be so naive?
  • Anonymous on November 03 2011 said:
    Suggest you folks go down to the library and get yourselves a copy of the following book: The Deep, Hot Biosphere, by Dr. Thomas Gold, professor emeritus of physics at Cornell University. I believe his contention is the correct one, i.e., that the origin of crude oil, natural gas, and coal are biogenic in nature. If the gentleman is right, we will never run out of the stuff so long as the bacteria making it continue to remain alive. He also makes note that there are old original fields in Oklahoma that are now filling back up. So much for the shrubbery/dinosaur idea.
  • Anonymous on November 04 2011 said:
    it is surprising to read that there is no crisis in oil supply because we have enough to last another forty years or another one hundred years or whatever. The fact is that at some point whether it be in our grandchildrens lives or great grandchildrens lives there will be a point at which the energy required to extract "x' amount of oil will be "x" if at that point in time we have not established alternative energy sources we will be in deep terminal crisis. The problem is that attempts to debunk Peak Oil tend to sew complacency with the status quo and diminish the awareness of the need for exploration of viable alternatives. Unfortunately the follow up comments about evolution make one doubt the intellectual sincerity of the writer and tend to undermine his credibility on the other issues.
  • Anonymous on November 05 2011 said:
    Which begs one question.If we are really running out of oil,and I have no way of knowing, why is oil so cheap? I mean really, if it was that bad why is there no martial law, rationing, banning of SUV's all planes grounded? No more motor homes. Why are we trading oil?And just when is this disaster going to strike?
  • Anonymous on November 13 2011 said:
    Telling to the world that $100 per bbl oil will open up a whole lot of opportunities is not mug different than saying $1000 per bbl will also open up a whole lot of opportunities. US needs under $20 per bbl to grow strongly, period. It will not happen when the commodity is becoming harder and harder to come by while the demand is only going up. WORLD NEEDS THORIUM REACTORS.
  • Anonymous on November 13 2011 said:
    Thorium is 1000 times more available than Uranium, cuts the cos by 10 times, 10000 times less radioactive and passive safety (you can turn it off almost instantly) unlike today's Uranium reactors, so it is safe. Thorium reactors use 99% of the energy and there is no need for an off-site waste disposal site either. The technology is developed in 1960s and operated for 5 years and shut down by government because you cannot make a bomb from Thorium. China and India are already developing their own Thorium reactors.We already have the miracle fuel; 5,000 tones of Thorium is enough to replace ALL oil, coal and uranium based energy production and usage. Imagine the possibilities, an energy source that remains cheap and virtually infinite. The world has millions of tonnes of Thorium in reserves, unused today, enough for several hundred years without any price change.
  • Fred Banks on December 24 2011 said:
    My students are told to study the peaking of oil in the United States in order to understand a global peaking. If they cant or wont they fail, and that is all there is to it. Of course, when the oil price can reach and stay in the vicinity of 100 dollars during a weak global economy, the peak is superfluous.
  • auricluny on December 27 2011 said:
    Wow Fred,now I see why students can't get a job as they are useless.
  • Fred Banks on December 27 2011 said:
    Students cant get jobs because many teachers and administrators are useless or worse than useless. I won't bother mentioning politicians. A good example here is Mr Obama. He comes from a depressed part of Chicago, but one of his main concerns after becoming president was wars on the other side of the world. Needless to say though, my finance students got jobs, and good ones. One reason was that final exams here took four hours, but I gave them six hours of work - and AURICLUNY, the non-hackers were made to understand that this was to be their fate in the first five minutes of the first day of the course, in language by yours truly that could not be misinterpreted.
  • Mat on December 30 2011 said:
    Even if you dispute the "when" there is no dispute about "whether" it will happen. This article proves it. It concludes that we have:***enough time for the whole Peak Oil thing to be prolonged into the next century, which means there is no crisis. At least, there is nothing yet to have a war over.***Next century? Next century! How is this not a crisis? It'll take longer than that to wean society off our oil depencancy, and even then we still need to reduce population growth else condenm millions to a horrible death! But I suppose that doesn't matter compared to the likes of Dennis Edison getting his thirty silver's worth.
  • zatstone on January 26 2012 said:
    Having read you comments I can only say that the pendulum, in your case, has swung to the other extreme. If you review the CIA's data on oil - proved oil reserves that is - and look at consumption figures, it does not take rocket science to work out, given what we know we have, that oil will run out in 49 years, if consumption remains at current levels, which is highly unlikely given the ongoing increase in the Earth's population. To assume that more oil and gas will be found would be a mistake (ass-u-me). So, knowing what we know, we should be looking at alternative power sources. If it works out differently, brilliant. If not, we've been good boy scouts (be prepared).
  • Dave on April 03 2012 said:
    The oil companies would like you to believe in the "Peak Oil" theory. If we are running out of natural gas why is the price so much lower than 10 years ago? If we are running out of oil why is most of Californias production being exported?
  • Landbeyond on May 20 2012 said:
    In the author's defense, he is partially correct. In his answering comment he says: "Elephants do not evolve from rabbits." I believe he must be conceded that point.
  • Mobius007 on March 17 2013 said:
    I really don't see what all you "peak oil" cultist are going on about. As pointed out by BP CEO Robert Dudley earlier this month:

    "at current consumption rates, data suggests that the world has 54 years’ worth of proven oil reserves and 64 years worth of proven gas reserves, adding, “more will be found.”

    So, we won't hit Empty on the oil gage for a full 54 years! Sure, oil consumption grows every year, but "more will be found" - if they find 20% more that would give us a full extra decade (neglecting demand growth)!

    Dude, 54 years... that's like FOREVER.
  • JCDurham on October 22 2013 said:
    There is no biological component to oil. It is heat and pressure deep within the earth working on simple chemistry. Deep within the Earth, billions of oil gallons are made every year. The biggest kept oil secret is that we continue to run into more and more oil not running out of oil.

    There would be a huge group of chemists that would support exposing the myth, deeply studied and proven to be a myth in the bad old anti-wealthy Soviet Union decades ago, if they could just get some big money from somewhere.

    Coal IS biological in origin worked upon by heat and pressure. Oil certainly has no initial biological component. Dinosaurs as a source of oil myth was developed in the mid 1950's, to create higher profit margins for BP, etc. No other reason. Any chemists out there, take a look at the oil molecule, directly and with spectroscopy, before you open your mouth, please.
  • Electric Automobile Driver on February 05 2014 said:
    Hmmmm. As as trained observer/engineer (MSCIS) it would seem that the jury is still out on the issue of oil supply. However, at a median of $4.00 a Gallon (Southern California)and food prices moving upward I know that my $100.00 from five and ten years ago does not go as far as it used to because agriculture is essentially a Petroleum-driven engine. However, with all of the Man Camps in Montana, Fracturing Oil production and Norway (the highest per capita user of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the world) selling off its oil to the world market shouldn't most consumers in the United States being paying about $2.50 to $3.00 per Gallon? If ever there was an Oil Glut it is now.

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