What is Peak Oil?
by Graham Strouts
Sometimes known as “Hubberts’ Peak” after the American geologist M.K. Hubbert who accurately predicted the peak in US oil production in 1971, ” Peak Oil” refers to the maximum extraction rate of oil, after which the rate of extraction will decline.
It has been found that the extraction of oil always follows more or less a bell-shaped curve: first the oil is discovered and once it starts to be pumped out, the rate increases steadily until it reaches a peak, after which it becomes impossible to pump at the same rate: production will inexorably decline.
World discovery of oil peaked in 1964 and has been declining ever since, despite considerable improvements in technology, and there is no prospect of any significant new large discoveries. We are currently consuming more than 4 barrels of oil for every one discovered.
It is widely believed that we are now approaching World Oil Peak .
Does this mean that the world is running out of oil? Not exactly. Globally, it is thought that approximately half of all oil that was laid down in the earth has been extracted. We have currently used about 1Trillion barrels of the 2Trillion barrels that was the legacy from geological vents of over 90million years ago.
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