Saturday, June 15, 2013
The myth of peak oil
Posted by David Smith at 02:30 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

A few years ago, I was regularly ambushed by peak oil enthusiasts, who inisted that global oil production was either at or beyond its peak. That peak, it was said, either occurred in 2005 or in 2008-9. My response was that, while it might be possible to think of a peak in global oil production in 20-30 years' time, it was not imminent. Not only that but high oil prices would encourage more exploration, and make marginal oil provinces viable.

That process is still continuing but the myth of the oil peak is proved by the data. The latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy shows that global oil production rose 2.2% to 86.15 million barrels a day in 2012, from 84.2 million barrels a day in 2011 and 83.27 million in 2010. Each of those represented a new high. Rising shale oil production in America was part of the story but non-OECD output also hit a new record in 2012. The relevant section of the Statistical Review is here. Peak oil in the 2000s was a much talked about myth.