Yesterday, in Virginia, I filled up my gas tank for $2.75 a gallon.
At that price, even old peak oilers like my wife and I hardly think about poor old King Hubbard’s theory much these days.
And though gas has been cheap in the U.S. for the last six months or more, I still think Hubbard was right that global oil production naturally has a point of peak production.
I used to think that the peak of world oil production already came in 2006. But with the rise of fracking and other extreme fossil fuels, now I’m not so sure.
Could the oil peak come a decade or more in the future as the optimists mentioned in the infographic below predict?
Or could the whole thing be some kind of confusing shell game, with financial markets moving petro dollars around in clever ways to make it look like oil hasn’t peaked yet, when, in fact, it has?
Frankly, as a lay observer of the energy economy, such questions are above my pay grade. I’ll leave petroleum geologists and economists to argue about the real oil supply and its likely effect on the economy in the next five, ten or twenty years.
Meanwhile, the infographic below may be good enough for other laypeople to get the basic facts on the peak oil debate.
The image is courtesy of an energy-services company in the U.K. called Chiltern Thrust Bore. I’m not sure what they think of peak oil, but I’m sure they hope to be able to drill and dig for stuff for a while longer.
Whatever the case, their take on peak oil seems to be a accurate summary of Hubbert’s theory and a plausible analysis of what it means for today and the future.
— Erik Curren, Transition Voice