Peak Oil: Theory or Myth?

The Future of Oil and Hubbert’s Peak Oil Theory Introduction. Oil is the number one source of energy in the world and has been so since the middle of the twentieth century. But ever increasing demand has caused the price to spike in recent years and only the world economic crisis was able to temper demand and bring the price down to more reasonable levels. However the demand and price have.

Was ist der wissenschaftliche Konsens über die Peak-Oil-Theorie? Choosing a particular curve determines a point of maximum production based on discovery rates, production rates and cumulative production. When the price of oil reaches a certain point, it becomes profitable to drill in areas and in ways that would not be profitable if oil were too cheap. Archived from the original PDF on 26 July

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M. King Hubbert made a bold prediction in that oil production in the U.S. lower 48 states would peak in the early s. His prediction was based on mathematical analysis of the time histories of cumulative discoveries, production, and remaining reserves for a finite resource.

It's unique to both human and geologic history. It has never happened before and it can't possibly happen again. You can only use oil once.

Since Hubbert introduced the concept of peak oil, countless forecasters from every corner of the industrial, governmental and academic worlds have tried to substantiate or refute Hubbert's prediction. Meanwhile, petroleum geologist Colin Campbell, a founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil ASPO , once estimated that peak oil had occurred around , but his views have shifted somewhat as new data have become available.

The trouble is, determining when peak oil will occur, if it already has occurred, or if it will happen at all, are all dependent on an ever-changing set of assumptions and variables.

Reserves are the known amount of oil that can be extracted given present-day prices and present-day technology, Carroll explained. But peak oil also depends on oil prices and available technology. For example, hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking , has opened up numerous oil fields in areas that were once considered played out or too costly to develop. As a result of expanded fracking production, places like North Dakota — home of the Bakken formation of oil-bearing shale rock — are now experiencing an oil boom, and are likely to shift the global energy picture in dramatic ways over the next decade.

Thanks to fracking, instead of resembling a bell curve, U. Through the first half of , the United States produced an average 8. Demand for fossil fuels is another critical factor in the debate over peak oil.

Developing countries like China, India and Brazil have become big markets for oil and other fossil fuels such as coal. As these enormous markets expand — and as the global population continues to increase beyond the 7 billion mark — the demand for oil increases.

And as the demand for fossil fuels like oil increases, the supply of these resources dwindles, or so some have argued. But the amount of available oil is not uniform. For instance, reserve estimates may be inaccurate. In California's San Joaquin Valley, production has well exceeded its initial million barrel estimate, with 2. Hubbert was working with a pretty good estimate of Ultimate for the Lower 48 states, so his U. Hubbert had no way to foresee new technologies, namely deep water production and horizontal drilling in shales.

Hubbert also did an estimate for U. We blew that one up in On one hand, Hubbert was a brilliant and insightful technologist. On the other hand, he was married to a Malthusian world view and had an ego the size of Rhode Island. Note the banner - that is the question I answered. The merging of this discussion and that one mixes apples and oranges.

Please do not consider the following as an answer to the header question. The theory, in and of itself, is sound. As applied by M King Hubert, not so much. Hubbert failed to consider innovation and creativity. In when he was originating the Hubbert curve, hydraulic fracturing was still relatively new, slant hole drilling was frowned upon and fields were getting drilled up. His prediction of peaking worked out in as US production did peak and went into decline.

The US has now exceeded that production volume. Other fields and countries have exhibited their own Hubbert curves over the years but human creativity, innovation and plain sticking to it keep moving the goalposts. The newer and perhaps the next realized peak may well be the demand rather than the supply. Peak oil - Wikipedia is more a model than theory. The model seems to be valid in a general sense eventually demand will deplete reserves but the specifics are really, seriously, hard to pin down.

And as oil becomes more difficult to obtain, it will become more expensive - which will encourage various Substitute good - Wikipedia such as renewable energy. It all makes a broad kind of sense but there are so many variables that only the unwary would trust any specific predictions, especially in the short term.

I have no idea. There was a lot of talk about it a dozen years ago but I have never followed the topic. The peak oil theory has its detractors, and there is some criticism over it. Peak oil - Wikipedia. Well, the fossils industry scientists notwithstanding, the consensus is that yes, we are past peak oil. We are already into tertiary extraction methods like tar sands and fracking. We go to war for oil and gas.

We do not need fossils. Without extraction of hydrocarbons and rare materials from our wastes, our civilization will collapse and we will never escape fossils. Humans really hate to clean up after themselves, and love to toss their wastes all over the place. Perhaps it's in our DNA. Solar and wind are the cheapest energy on earth.

Brian Donovan's answer to Can solar power become a major power source in the coming 20 years? If not, what are your ideas? Ask New Question Sign In. Quora uses cookies to improve your experience. What is the scientific consensus on the peak oil theory? Stop wasting money - this app finds every discount online. Honey finds the best promo code and applies it for you automatically - for free. Read More at joinhoney.

You dismissed this ad. The feedback you provide will help us show you more relevant content in the future. Answered Nov 8, What is the consensus on when Peak Oil will occur? This question needs clarifying. There is not one but two peaks - peak of production which everyone here seems to be talking about and peak of discovery. The rate of discovery is the number of new oil fields discovered each year in comparison with previous years.

The peak here has already occurred - it happened in the 70s or even earlier. This means that the numbers of new oil fields discovered has been going down each year. The last major oil field to be discovered was the North Sea. We are now on the downward-sloping side of the bell-curve. This is the reason why Big Oil corporations invest into expensive oil - tar sands, deep-water drilling, etc.

But even with our current knowledge of such things, petroleum geologists have a tough go of it. All of them are fatal. Understanding how petroleum geologists determine whether a potential oil source rock contains oil requires knowing some basics about organic chemistry and the chemical reaction that cracks source rock into oil.

To this end, Deffeyes describes the molecular cracking process and provides a sort of condensed field guide to the types of molecules found in crude oil.

Another way he lightens the material is by injecting his trademark droll humor. At one point he likens the catalysts used in oil refineries to divorce lawyers, since their molecules manage to remain intact even as they enable innumerable oil molecules around them to split apart.

For those who enjoy learning how things work, the chapters on technologies and methods used to discover and produce oil are a riveting read. Topics covered include subsurface geology mapping, reflection seismology, drilling rig equipment, drill bit types, oil well completion, hydrofracking and horizontal drilling. The material on these latter two is admittedly dated. In addition to presenting hard science, Deffeyes also goes into the soft science of economics.

He explains how geologists and economists approach the challenge of oil discovery from fundamentally different perspectives. Deffeyes is critical of both viewpoints, stating that each is only partly right.

He says economists are correct insofar as investing zero money yields no new oil. On the other hand, geologists know that while hurriedly investing large sums of money might get more holes drilled, many of these will be dry holes.

The energy sources that Deffeyes considers—geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind and nuclear—continue to be plagued by the problems identified in this book.