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Friday, July 23, 2004

Prediction is Prologue

Why 2004 Will Be Remembered as the Year World Oil Production Peaked
By Keith Miller, Member of the Council of Energy Advisors.

A fairly thorough accounting of past predictions on peak oil and history here.

As usual, this kind of story has to be balanced against the screaming headline:

Theories of dwindling oil reserves unfounded
By H. Sterling Burnett
The usual framing trifecta:

1. They were wrong before
The history of the petroleum industry is one of predictions of near-term depletion, followed by the discovery of new oil fields and the development of technologies for recovering additional supplies.

2. Market forces to forestall future problems
Over the next several decades the world likely will continue to see short-term spikes in the price of oil, but these will be caused by political instability and market interference -- not an irreversible decline in supply.

3. Look at how big the numbers are
Oil production from tar sands in Canada and South America would add 600 billion barrels to the world's supply, and rocks found in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone contain 1,500 billion barrels of oil. Worldwide, the oil-shale reserves could be as large as 14,000 billion barrels -- more than 500 years of oil supply at year 2000 production rates.


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