Peak oil theories have emerged since 1880s, but won't occur, OPEC says
There’s no evidence that oil supply is set to peak, and earlier warnings have missed the mark, according to OPEC’s secretary general.
Such predictions go as far back as the 1880s and gained more traction in the 1950s, when geologist Marion King Hubbert said oil production would max out by the 1970s, Haitham Al Ghais wrote in a post on the oil cartel’s website on Wednesday.
“Throughout history, repeated predictions of peak oil supply have repeatedly been moved further into the future, and at ever-higher levels,” he said.
While US production did decline in the 1970s, starting a downtrend that went on for nearly 40 years, the advent of the shale boom has sent output soaring over the last two decades. In fact, the US has since become history’s biggest crude producer.
That’s as innovations like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked supplies that were previously deemed unreachable.
“The past peak supply predictions were way off the mark, misled by mistaken assumptions on the size of the recoverable resource base, an underestimation of the impact of technology advancement, and the general resourcefulness of the industry,” Al Ghais wrote.
Meanwhile, debate has also turned to predictions of peak oil demand as the transition to green
I would modify the “unreachable” word to be “uneconomical”. What’s the point of extracting a resource if the cost to do so exceeds the benefits?
I’m ok with having that also applied to giant asteroids made of solid gold orbiting Uranus.