Peak oil...it is just a theory. That is what my wife's lady friend stockbroker told her.
Dismissing peak oil as 'just a theory' is an easy and quick way to rebut PO.
If the question is when we will peak - yes we can only theorize.
If the question is if we will peak - then it is not a theory and only a question of time.
No one knows the exact peak date for world oil production, but we do know that time will come in the not so distant future. But finding the peak is not hard problem once we can look back on it by a few years...but we need some time to do it...again, only time will settle this debate.
And the possibility may be that we find another big discovery and the peak dates look more like a double top stock market chart than the drop over a cliff.
But all this does not really matter. The bottom line is we are running out of crude no matter how the hard the spin doctors try to masturbate the facts.
The fact that 'we have to estimate' reserves or useful life of anything says that the item in question does not have an infinite supply or life span.
I never argue with persons claiming that we have peaked already or others that claim the peak is 20 years away. To me they are both on the same page, just looking at different paragraphs.
But the person that thinks that the world can go on forever using 31,000,000,000 barrels a year of crude and never have to pay the bill with the eventual depletion of fossil fuels is just plain wrong.
"If the public does think briefly about future oil supplies, the question usually asked is, "How long will oil last?" This is the wrong question. Oil will be extracted in some insignificant quantity perhaps 200 years from now. The critical question is: When does the peak of world oil production occur?" ~ Richard C. Duncan