When will Peak Oil happen?

Some say it has already happened, and we are just riding across the top of the peak, and production will fall soon. Some say it will be soon, and others say it will be 10, 20, or 30 years off.

I just posted a WikiLeak document from the US embassy in Saudia Arabia that has some good insider info on Peak Oil. See:


I put a poll at the end of that article, so you can vote on when you think it will happen, and you can see what others are thinking. If you have any good sources of research, please let me know.


2 Answers

  • paul h
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Peak Oil estimates vary with who you talk to or read and what information they are based on. It's also very hard to predict future events like recessions, wars, regional politics, etc..and technological advances for the next couple decades. Refinery capacity and rare earth elements or battery components that are used to make electrical motors for hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles or batteries may be the next issues. China is already hoarding rare earth elements in their country...a major supplier....and much of the lithum (for high-performance Li-on batteries) in the world is in Bolivia.

    According to some estimates, we have perhaps 20-25 years yet before production would not keep up with demand but there are a number of variables to consider. Oil production from other sources like crop-based or algae-based biofuels could alleviate some production problems and the US military is already contracting with a bio-fuel company to produce a million barrels of oil per day.

    U.S. green lights 'anything into oil'

    Defense Department OKs facilities turning natural produce into energy


    Another company is developing a Thermal Conversion Process to convert the billions of tons of garbage and waste products we produce every year into oil...enough to meet all of our needs and then some without drilling any more from the ground.


    Youtube thumbnail


    The Chinese as well produce oil from plastics....

    "The first report of turning plastic wastes into oil came in 2001 from the People’s Daily, China’s English language newspaper [1]. An oil refinery in Hunan province had succeeded in processing 30 000 tonnes of plastic wastes into 20 000 tonnes of gasoline and diesel oil that satisfied the provincial standards"



    Frank Pringle has found a way to squeeze oil and gas from just about anything"


    Another method to produce clean diesel fuels with plasma......

    "Process in Big-Screen Plasma TVs Can Produce Ultra-Clean Fuel"


    "Device Burns Fuel With Almost Zero Emissions'


    Better fuel efficiencies in cars and trucks which use horribly wasteful engine designs...2/3 of the energy in a gallon of fuel is lost as waste heat... could lower demand and extend the time frame of Peak Oil. The Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid concept car gets around 80 mpg...the Opel Eco-speedster turbo-diesel around 113 mpg...the technology is available now and awaits lower cost with mass- production. Other technologies can allow for better fuel economy in cars, trucks, semi's and planes.

    If the CAFE standards for all vehicles were around 60-80 mpg, we could use 1/3 - 1/4 the fuel we currently do or have that many more vehicles ...all things being equal. There is also a large amount of food wastes in the US which equals around 350 million barrels of oil per year.

    "Food Waste in the U.S.: More Energy Lost Than Offshore Drilling Can Replace"


    "Want Better Mileage? Simple Device Which Uses Electrical Field Could Boost Gas Efficiency Up To 20%

    ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2008) — With the high cost of gasoline and diesel fuel impacting costs for automobiles, trucks, buses and the overall economy, a Temple University physics professor has developed a simple device which could dramatically improve fuel efficiency as much as 20 percent."


    "Diesel Guzzler - Money Saver

    Engineers Propose Aerodynamic Improvements For Truck Trailers"

    "We could increase the fuel economy of the test tractor trailer by between 11 and 12 percent," Englar said.

    If applied to the country's entire 18-wheel trucking fleet, that adds up to savings of 2.4 billion gallons of diesel a year"


    On the supply side, BP 's reserves are estimated to be worth 100 trillion dollars (at 75.00 per barrel pricing) and other reserves like the Bakken play have much more oil than previously thought. Oil shales and oil sands in the US and Canada can also provide hundreds of years of supply at higher prices or if newer technology allows them to be extracted cheaper.

    " BP’s annual report for 2008 indicates that they have over 1.25 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves in the ground and can continue pumping out this oil and liquid natural gas for over 42 years. Some fields will produce for over a hundred years"


    Source(s): Synthetic Gasoline For $1.50/Gallon and No Emissions http://news.discovery.com/tech/synthetic-gasoline-... Some other info on energy policies and concerns...... http://www.manhattan-institute.org/bottomlesswell/ Edit: China also plans to install over 20 nuclear facilities in the next couple decades....are they gearing up for grid-based plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles which would reduce reliance on oil? How does that affect Peak oil estimates?
  • 9 years ago

    Squeeze it or not, there is a finite quantity of oil in the ground. The oil investors will squeeze all the profits they can out of the oil that they control by any means possible. Everyone who can rub two neurons together recognizes the coming shortage and many, including the former administration will profit greatly. Some argue it will hit like a ton of brick, others are more moderate. Everyone should think about how they will commute to work or stay warm in the Winter when the price approaches $5-10 per gallon and beyond. Demand for oil is inelastic which means the price can shoot up drastically as we have already seen.

    Uranium has proven to be anything but "clean and safe." The rates of cancers are skyrocketing, especially in areas that vaporize depleted uranium used in armor and shells (Middle East right now). Just a miniscule quantity is fatal and it's being blown around the world by the wind. Don't expect mass media to say anything significant about this, because accurate information is extremely valuable and dangerous to some. It's better to keep the masses ill informed and mislead. Corporate profits will be forthcoming.

    The first peak oil happened within the scope of the United States in the early 1970s. The world-wide peak oil is unraveling right now as can be seen in the invasion and occupation of the Middle East by the United States. There is bound to be violent conflict with some countries devastated, sadly.

    I am learning how to live simply without a lot of fuel, new products, convenience foods, or power. It's a bit like being a survivalist, but it can be fun if put into the framework of a game. I do not want to contribute to the so-called 'war' in any way and am considering early retirement to avoid paying taxes into the military-industrial-congressional-drug-food-media complex. It's Nash game theory at the global level. How un-imaginative.

    I ride my bike to work and am growing a garden this year. My home on a small farm is heated with wood and I'm looking at solar heating solutions and larger gardens next year.

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