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So Much for King Hubbard’s “Peak Oil” Theory


When M. King Hubbard concluded in 1956 that the world would shortly run out of oil, his theory was adopted by environmentalists and government meddlers as the basis for interference in the energy business.

Hubbard’s theory initially predicted that U.S. crude oil production would peak at around 1970. Revisions to the theory pushed the peak date out to 2000 when U.S. crude would hit 12.5 billion barrels per year and then start its inevitable and irreversible decline.

For 2018, U.S. crude oil production will hit 30 billion barrels. So much for Hubbard’s “peak oil” predictions.

But, as Eric Peters (who blogs at laments, government interference based on the discredited “peak oil” theory remains firmly in place:

Easing of the regulatory burdens on domestic oil producers combined with new methods of extraction have increased the domestic oil supply….

These are things the government and its media hyena chorus swore could never happen. Their mantra was that the U.S. is a spent hen as far as oil production is concerned, and not only were we running out [but] so was the world.

Hence the austerity measures.

But things are no longer austere – so why the measures?

In August, Trump’s EPA and the Department of Transportation proposed rolling back some of those measures, specifically reducing CAFE from 54.5 mpg proposed by then-President Obama in 2011 to 37 mpg. In its statement accompanying the proposed rule change, EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the change was needed because the current rules “impose significant costs on American consumers, and eliminate jobs.” Nothing was mentioned about the failed Hubbard theory that still informs government policy.

Even that modest reduction is facing opposition from California and 18 other states, which immediately announced that should the proposal be enforced, they would sue to reject the change.

The good news is that the United States is now the largest crude oil producer on the planet. In an interview with CNNMoney back in June, Pioneer Natural Resources Chairman Scott Sheffield said he expected U.S. crude oil production to surpass 11 million barrels a day by this fall, making the U.S. the world’s top oil producer. Right on schedule, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced last Thursday that the U.S. oil industry produced 11.3 million barrels of crude oil a day during August, an increase of 416,000 barrels from the previous month and topping production from Saudi Arabia and Russia. That level of crude oil production is more than 2 million barrels a day ahead of August 2017, the largest increase over any 12-month period in U.S. history.

Sheffield told CNNMoney that “we’ll be at 13 [million] very quickly” and predicted that that number could jump to 15 million in a very few years.

On Wednesday, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told Fox News that officially “today we are the largest oil and gas producer on the face of the planet, rolling through 11 million … on our way to 14.”

In less than 10 years, thanks largely to the development of and continued improvement to fracking technology, U.S. crude oil production has more than doubled, from 5 million bpd (barrels per day) in 2008 to more than 11 million today.

This has immediate as well as long-term ramifications that extend far beyond gas prices at the pump. On October 3, the price of crude for November delivery was over $76 a barrel. At Friday’s close, the price for December delivery was below $63. Gas prices, which had hit more than $3 a gallon in many places in the country, now average $2.77 a gallon at the pump, with further declines expected.

The record puts the U.S. in the position where it will no longer be bullied by OPEC. As Patrick Buchanan pointed out on Tuesday, OPEC still thinks it can push the U.S. around:

Over the Weekend, Donald Trump warned of “severe punishment” if an investigation concludes that a Saudi hit team murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Riyadh then counter-threatened, reminding us that, as the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia “plays an impactful and active role in the global economy.”

That role is steadily diminishing thanks to the fracking revolution that has been taking place in the United States, enhanced and encouraged by the Trump administration and its relatively light regulatory hand on the industry.

All of which is happening because the U.S. oil industry is operating in a system and a culture where success is rewarded and not punished, where innovation is encouraged, and the importance of cheap and reliable energy is recognized as vital to continued economic growth and prosperity.



Breitbart.comEnergy Department Says U.S. Is Now World’s Top Oil Producer

OilPrice.comSoaring U.S. Oil Production Forces Prices Down

Money.CNN.comShale exec: US will be the world’s biggest oil producer by the fall

OilPrice.comU.S. Oil Production May Jump To 14 Million Bpd By 2020

EricPetersAutos.comStormy Daniels and “Peak Oil”

History of “peak oil” theory

World Crude Oil Production: 81.98M bbl/day for Jul 2018

90-day chart of crude oil for Dec delivery

Patrick Buchanan: Should U.S.-Saudi Alliance Be Saved?

History of CAFE

CAFE’s proposed rollback under Trump

The post So Much for King Hubbard’s “Peak Oil” Theory appeared first on Light from the Right.

22 Comments on "So Much for King Hubbard’s “Peak Oil” Theory"

  1. Duncan Idaho on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 8:56 am 

    Light from the Right?
    How about Mother Goose??

  2. Jef on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 9:04 am 

    I have lived for quite a while now and have still not died. Therefore I can only conclude that I never will.

  3. Here we go again on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 9:17 am 

    Boy, am I glad he was wrong…frack away and dig baby dig those tar muck sands away…
    Poor Global Warming Gas and fck away to increase Homoconsumptians in our land…
    What could possibly go wrong!?

  4. Antius on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 9:38 am 

    This article is just plain silly. But it reads very much as a propaganda piece, as it ignores inconvenient facts. The world will never be short of ostriches that want to pretend that everything is rosy, even as everything goes up in flames.

    It ignores the fact that US production DID peak in 1970 and declined continuously for four decades. At this point, cheap money and horizontal drilling combined with triple digit oil prices, to finally allow the beginning of tight oil production from fractured shale that was still unprofitable, even with all those things running in its favour. It remains unprofitable to this day. It is amusing that he quotes Pioneer Resources, a company that has never turned a profit, even as Brent was trading above $80/bl recently.

    If the premise of this article were correct and peak oil were some sort of myth, then the shale industry would not exist. There would be no need for oil wells with 60%+ annual depletion rates. The price of oil would never have risen above its historical average price of ~$20/bl, measured in year 2000 dollars. The existence of the shale industry, its lack of profitability and the high price of oil relative to its pre 2000 values, essentially proves this idiot wrong.

  5. rockman on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 10:27 am 

    And one more time to educate those who have never read his actual report. As Hubbert clearly states his prediction was for the peak production of the EXISTING PROVEN oil reserves at the time. As he also specifically pointed out it did not predict peak production for those yet to be proven plays such as the shales and Deep Water GOM. In that regards his prediction was eventually proven very correct. And not to take anything away from his skills it’s fair to point out that the trends he studied were rather mature at the time he made his prediction.

    This is just another case of dishonest writers trying to redefine his report to fit their propaganda. But he did miss the mark on his global PO prediction for those existing trends at the time. But that’s not a big shock given those global trends ad not been developing for very long. In that respect he did not have the advantage of long production histories as he had for his USA peak oil prediction. A similar problem faced by recent predictors of global PO who claimed the world had reached peak production prior to the current record rates.

  6. rockman on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 10:29 am 

    IOW a lot easier to predict the outcome of a football game with 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter then at the time of the initial kickoff. LOL.

  7. dave thompson on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 11:16 am 

    All one has to do is look at oil discovery on a graph Starting 100 years ago to see that Hubert knew what he was talking about.

  8. dave thompson on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 11:17 am 

    All one has to do is look at oil discovery on a graph Starting 100 years ago to see that Hubert knew what he was talking about.

  9. Alice Friedemann on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 12:06 pm 

    Why is such nonsense shown at – are people like Michael Lynch on the staff who like to float stupid arguments like these to see how they float, in what ways they’re objected to in order to hone their biased claptrap? What’s the motivation going on here?

  10. Dredd on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 12:22 pm 

    What rockman said.

    Prick oil has already happened (The Authoritarianism of Climate Change).

  11. shortonoil on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 1:09 pm 

    Hubbert’s model, which is that oil production follows a logistic curve, is based on C&C production: Period. Not LTO, LNG, or camel pee. C&C. What the author has attempted to do here is as ridulous as using Hubber’s model to project Chanel #9 perfune production. Using other inputs is dishonest, disingenuous, and,or down right stupid. If world production is fitted to a logistic curve the world’s C&C production peaks at 83.08 mb/d. World production of C&C reached 80.92 mb/d in 2017.

    A copy of that graph can be found on this page as chart221. click to enlarge

  12. jawagord on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 3:43 pm 

    I don’t get the Hubbard bashing either. For 1954 it was a very good prediction. He also identified tar sands and shale oils as potential large resources but didn’t see the technology to extract the resources would be available in the next 15 years. As it turned out it took 30 years and a dramatic rise in prices to unlock the tar sands and 50 years and another dramatic rise in prices to unlock the shale oils. shall we bash him for not seeing 50 years into the future?

  13. Free Speech Message Board on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 7:37 pm 

    Libertarians are on the right side of history because freedom worked for 200 years in the US and tyranny failed in the USSR and Nazi Germany.

    Communists and Nazis think problems should be solved with force, but Libertarians prefer using logic and reason.

    If tyranny is so wonderful then why do people try to escape from prisons?

    If Americans love tyranny then why did Americans fight Communists and Fascists?

    How can Americans sleep at night now while the US collapses or look in the mirror without feeling utter disgust and shame?

  14. asg70 on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 7:48 pm 

    “Why is such nonsense shown at”

    There are two kinds of articles that tend to get posted here, links to doomer blogs that preach to the converted, and more substantive articles like this which are merely linkbait for doomers to get enraged about rather than actually reading and processing fully.

  15. JuanP on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 7:52 pm 

    I had my nuts cut and now I can’t breed

  16. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 8:05 pm 

    I should have had my nuts cut. It would have saved Mommy and Daddy a small fortune in child support.

  17. Nostradamus on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 8:18 pm 

    Good news. That means oil production is going to keep rising forever. ROTFLMAO.

  18. Davy on Wed, 7th Nov 2018 5:03 am 

    Give me cock or give me death.

    Cock anyone?

    Imagine a big, beautiful ebony cock thrusting and releasing, thrusting and releasing.

    Give me a big black cock any time and any where.

  19. Anonymous on Wed, 7th Nov 2018 7:41 am 

    What’s with the spelling? L. King Hubbard?

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