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Page added on October 25, 2014

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Peak Oil: A Real Threat to Society?

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When oil was first discovered in the U.S., life changed for every single American. Commercial and civilian use for petroleum skyrocketed, as U.S. production of different materials and products soared. During this time, some geologists firmly believed that oil would never deplete. Furthermore, they figured the U.S. was not the only country with petroleum and others must have had this resource as well.

In the 1950s, an American geologist named M. King Hubbert believed that U.S. oil production would peak in 1970. Hubbert did research on the concept of peak oil for decades. He was convinced that U.S. production would simply be maxed out by 1970. Many geologists and petroleum experts simply laughed at Hubbert’s theory.


Lo and behold, U.S. oil production peaked in 1970! Hubbert’s theory explained how overall production would reach a maximum rate of extraction, and eventually it’s production would go into free fall and never increase again.

As time passed, Hubbert’s theory eventually became magnified when geologists realized peak oil could occur worldwide. This concept is spoken about in Matthew Simmons’ book “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy”. Simmons, a former investment banker and energy policy adviser to Pres. George W. Bush, speaks about peak oil on an international level and explicitly explains how Saudi Arabian oil production has already peaked. Simmons’ book attempts to expose Saudi Aramco executives and claims that the Saudis lied about both petroleum reserve numbers and production numbers.


Critics of the book believe that Simmons only offers the reader just a hypothesis of oil depletion and international production peaking. Moreover, Simmons fails to mention renewable energy, Canadian tar sands, and other alternative energy sources. Some critics felt that Simmons’ book was just another interpretation of the Olduvai theory, a theory with little evidence and a weak hypothesis. The Olduvai theory is a hypothetical doomsday scenario with cataclysmic events occurring, with peak oil being one of them.


Currently, the world consumes around 85 million barrels of petroleum a day. It is estimated that this number will increase to around 100 million barrels a day by 2020. In the scenario that OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations do have colossal declines in production, there is no doubt that the price of oil will rise. However, that does not mean that peak oil will be here permanently. In recent years, shale has been a breakthrough in the U.S. with billions of dollars being invested into the industry. Shale gives oil and gas companies new opportunities to explore for more resources. Some experts actually believe with the discovery of shale, U.S. oil and gas production may reach higher levels than before.

 Texas oil

There is no doubt, peak oil can be a frightening scenario. Fortunatley, there are behemoth amounts of new technologies and methods that natural resources can be extracted with. One should look to Hubbert and Simmons as individuals who were concerned about the future and made valid arguments about the theory. The chief concern that humanity faces is the time period it will take to implement these new technologies. Let’s hope they are applied swiftly and peak oil can be just a theory of the past.


16 Comments on "Peak Oil: A Real Threat to Society?"

  1. Dave Thompson on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 7:28 am 

    “Let’s hope they are applied swiftly ( technologies) and peak oil can be just a theory of the past”. Who comes up with this stuff and for what? LOL.

  2. steve on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 9:09 am 

    I think modern print has come down to a lot of freelance writers and they write like throwing mud at a dart board. They see what will stick and then keep throwing it so they can live and make money….The same is true for the cornucopias that are shills for the oil companies….they have found that it is very profitable. I bet if you dressed Rockman up in a wig and changed his tune you could soon have him on all the talk shows…

  3. pat on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 9:23 am 

    ‘There is no doubt, peak oil can be a frightening scenario.’ the fact is the world transition from fossil fuels is decades behind and the age of oil is nearing end.

  4. eugene on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 9:25 am 

    Kinda like this site, lotta crap with an occasional article with some sense. Anyone with the ability to think can see we’re chasing ever more difficult/expensive oil which means less production costing more. Of course we’ll have these little spurts of production and, for the born agains, pray for some sort of salvation to arrive.

    Steve has a good point, Mindless writing about whatever sells. Internet is full of it. Americans are black/white thinkers so it’s extremism to the max so BS spreads very well.

  5. rockman on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 9:45 am 

    “I bet if you dressed Rockman up in a wig and changed his tune…”. I tried the wig ploy once. Didn’t work: folks still recognized my pissy attitude about the MSM.

  6. JuanP on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 10:03 am 

    I skipped this one!

  7. paulo1 on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 10:05 am 

    As I said to Deputy Barnes on the shite post board, “For Chissakes”, already.

    How much does a moderator cost? I’ll chip in.


  8. JuanP on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 10:37 am 

    Paulo, I created a new forum topic on CC and met DB. As I said in my reply there, please ignore him.
    We must all ignore Deputy Barnes and avoid his topics in the forum.

  9. Perk Earl on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 11:21 am 

    Just another, ‘let’s toss peak oil out with the bathwater’ type article with no substance.

    Here’s a newsflash: Oil is finite, the cost of production from new fields keeps going up and there is an affordability limit.

  10. Plantagenet on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 11:28 am 

    Of course peak oil is a real threat to society. Try to imagine what the US and world economy would look like if the global oil supply shrank by 3% each year. Then imagine that the decline in global oil prodction begins in just 5 years.

    Then imagine you aren’t imagining—thats whats going to happen.

  11. Anontina Racinoski on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 12:05 pm 

    Even from a pure layman’s view it would seem quite reasonable that pulling all of these resources out of the ground and burning them into the air would eventually create catastrophe.

  12. J-Gav on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 1:25 pm 

    Steve – Could you see your way to passing Rockman’s wig on to me? I’m getting rather sparse up top these days.

  13. Norm on Sat, 25th Oct 2014 3:57 pm 

    Look at the chart. Its such a complex bunch of data, but the peaking trend is obvious. You can see the individual sources already peaked. The grand total is about at maximum.

  14. Makati1 on Sun, 26th Oct 2014 7:24 am 

    infobarrel is owned by: Ryan McKenzie – Co-Founder and Marketing Director
    Ryan has been been involved in affiliate marketing over the last ten years but has always excelled with online marketing aspect of the business. His experience consists of SEO and Social Media Marketing Consulting for Hinzie Media as well as a number of years working within the Business Intelligence industry…On the second part of this week’s Goldstein on Gelt show, Ryan McKenzie, director of, returns to give more interesting tips on how to make money by crowd sourcing and using your creative talents. So is writing articles on the internet for you?…co-founder Kevin Hinton.

    Got to consider the source…

  15. steve on Sun, 26th Oct 2014 9:11 am 

    Well I feel fortunate to have a place like here to discuss the truth. I still try to reach out to mainstream media and see if they will notice. I once called To the pOInt and wrote to Here and Now both NPR stations but I realize that they are very controlled media organization. You would think that somewhere you would get one mainstream reporter going rogue but not yet…very suspicious!!Their meme is that we have just pumped so much oil onto the market with “new technology” simple supply and demand…now go back to sleep sheeple…..

  16. Makati1 on Sun, 26th Oct 2014 8:28 pm 

    steve, In my view, ALL of MSM is owned and controlled by the same group who want to rule the world. I take anything that they say with a big lump of salt. I seldom read anything originating in the US ‘news’ and never watch TV.

    When your income and reputation depends on telling the story their way, you have no other choice except possibly bankruptcy and poverty for the rest of your life, or worse. Russia’s gulag of old was nothing compared to the one the US runs behind the curtain. The curtain is getting thin, thanks to the internet and instant communication between most everyone today.

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