The fear that we will run out of oil has a long and tortured history. Peak Oil is just the latest manifestation of this fear.
“In 1855, an advertisement for Kier’s Rock Oil advised consumers to ‘hurry, before this wonderful product is depleted from Nature’s laboratory’.”1
“In 1914, the Bureau of Mines said U.S. oil reserves would be exhausted by 1924.”
“In 1939, the Interior Department said the world’s petroleum reserves would last 13 years.”
“In 1951 the Interior Department said the world had … 13 years of proven reserves.”
“In 1970, proven reserves were estimated at 612 billion barrels.”
“In 1977, Jimmy Carter said mankind could ‘use up’ all the world’s proven reserves ‘by the end of the next decade’.”
“In 2006, proven reserves were 1.2 trillion [barrels].” 2
At every turn, Peak Oil, as glorified now by Hubbert’s Curve, has been discredited.
In 2009, CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates) published a paper stating that, at least until 2030, “there was no evidence of peak supply”. After 2030 they foresaw a plateauing of supply.
And now we have fracking and horizontal drilling in shale that further enlarges the supply of unconventional oil beyond oil sands.
And if that isn’t enough, we have enough oil locked up in tight shale in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado that’s equal to, and possibly greater, than all the oil in Saudi Arabia.
Peak Oil is a mirage created by those who oppose the use of fossil fuels in an effort to discredit and prevent additional drilling and exploration, and thereby force us to use so-called “green” replacements, such as ethanol and biofuels.
There is enough oil to last into the next century, and it’s foolish to speculate beyond then.
At some point a new technology will emerge to replace the age of oil, just as oil replaced the age of coal, and coal replaced the age of wood. Perhaps a super magnet can use the earth’s magnetic field to propel our vehicles. Who knows what will emerge? There is one thing certain, a new transportation technology will emerge from science.
Forget peak oil. It’s not a threat.
We should be drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and the outer continental shelf to find and extract all the oil we can, bring oil prices down to acceptable levels and reduce our use of foreign oil, especially from countries that support terrorists.
1: From 1/29/03 article by David Demming.
2: Series of quotes from article by George Will.
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