Oil peak 1

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field of related oil wells. The aggregate production rate from an oilfield over time usually grows exponentially until the rate peaks and then declines—sometimes rapidly—until the field is depleted. This concept is derived from the Hubbertcurve, and has been shown to be applicable to the sum of a nation’s domestic production rate, and is similarly applied to the global rate of petroleum production. Peak oil is often confused with oildepletion; peak oil is the point of maximum production while depletion refers to a period of falling reserves and supply.

M. King Hubbert created and first used the models behind peak oil in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970.[1] His logistic model, now called Hubbertpeaktheory, and its variants have described with reasonable accuracy the peak and decline of production from oilwells, fields, regions, and countries,[2] and has also proved useful in other limited-resource production-domains. According to the Hubbert model, the production rate of a limited resource will follow a roughly symmetrical logisticdistribution curve (sometimes incorrectly compared to a bellshapedcurve) based on the limits of exploitability and market pressures.

Some observers, such as petroleum industry experts Kenneth S. Deffeyes and Matthew Simmons, predict negative global economy implications following a post-peak production decline—and oil price increase—due to the high dependence of most modern industrial transport, agricultural, and industrial systems on the low cost and high availability of oil. Predictions vary greatly as to what exactly these negative effects would be.

Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.[3] Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that either the peak has already occurred,[4][5][6][7] that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly.[8][9] The International Energy Agency (IEA) says production of conventional crude oil peaked in 2006.[10][11] Throughout the first two quarters of 2008, there were signs that a global recession was being made worse by a series of record oil prices.[12]

Leave a Reply