Peak Oil

Editor's note:The probability that oil production on our planet has already peaked carries with it a death sentence for millions, maybe even billions of people within a single generation from now. By posting these articles, we are attempting to educate our members about all the nuances involved in a world that is running out of hydrocarbon energy. We explore its effects on transportation, electricity, economic growth and contraction, political power, civilization and perhaps most importantly food production. The essays below examine the facts and ramifications of the end of the industrial age.

(watch) Peak Oil: The Richard Heinberg Interview (watch)

listenRichard Heinberg discussing 'The Party's Over - Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies' (audio library)

Should industrial societies adapt a no growth economic policy as a response to the energy downturn?

listenDon Coxe discussing 'The End of OPEC' and 'The Future of Oil' (audio library)


listenMatt Simmons - energy investment analyst -introducing the oil peak and decline phenomenon? (audio library)


wakeup call

Peak Oil in 2007

As the global warming controversy heats up, so has discussion of "peak oil" ... the time when world oil production will peak and then decline.  Some people dismiss it as a plot by big oil companies to justify high prices, while others assume this is another deception campaign by environmentalists to encourage conservation. Given the continual manipulation of public opinion, doubts about peak oil are understandable.  The world is massive and providing cheap fuel has never been a problem throughout our lifetime. Technological advancements in fuel efficiency and alternative energy should provide a solution before the Earth runs out of oil. Nevertheless, there are five reasons to worry that peak oil is near: MORE>>



The Prophecy of Oil

On August 27, 1859, Edwin Drake's oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania struck a gusher, making him the man credited with drilling the first commercially successful oil well in America. In the time between then and now, the world has burned through about 900 billion barrels of Drake's discovery.

Global daily oil consumption today stands at around 82 million barrels, and many experts believe the emerging mega-industrialization of nations like China and India will cause that daily consumption to reach at least 120 million barrels a day by the year 2030. Not to fear, however; ExxonMobil believes there are some 14 trillion barrels still in the ground, including nonconventional resource fields like the tar sands of Canada and petroleum-rich shale in the western United States. MORE>>

Peak Oil, Stolen Elections, Energy Wars

Apocalyptic fantasy is the heritage it seems of everyone growing up in a monotheistic culture, and no one of us has avoided the stomach turning terror of wondering if the next turn around the corner might lead to disaster. We titillate our fears with movies like The Day After Tomorrow. Hal Lindsay made a fortune preying on that fear. History is full of ridiculous stories of whole communities standing outside awaiting the end of the world on the word of some deranged bookworm's interpretation of holy scripture. MORE>>

Oil Fire


Civilization as we know it
is coming to an end soon

This is not the wacky conclusion of a religious cult, but rather the result of diligent analysis source by hard data and the scientists who study global “Peak Oil” and related go-political events.

So who are these nay-sayers who claim the sky is falling? Conspiracy fanatics? Apocalypse Bible prophesy readers? To the contrary, they are some of the most respected, highest paid geologists and experts in the world. And this is what's so scary. MORE>>

With the dawn of the 21st century the world has entered a new stage of geopolitical struggle. The first half of the 20th century can be understood as one long war between Britain (and shifting allies) and Germany (and shifting allies) for European supremacy. The second half of the century was dominated by a Cold War between the US, which emerged as the world's foremost industrial-military power following World War II, and the Soviet Union and its bloc of protectorates. The US wars in Afghanistan (in 2001-2002) and Iraq (which, counting economic sanctions and periodic bombings, has continued from 1990 to the present) have ushered in the latest stage, which promises to be the final geopolitical struggle of the industrial period - a struggle for the control of Eurasia and its energy resources. MORE>>


Very often when I talk to people about the likelihood of oil shortages or price hikes in the future, they come back to me with the statement ‘well I read that we have another 50 years of oil or 70 years or whatever it is’. And, what they are really saying is, it will be 50 years before we run out of oil. Actually, in fact I think it will be a lot longer than that. I would guess a century from now there will still be oil in the ground and probably some way of pumping a bit out now and then. But, the question of when we will actually run out of oil is absolutely the wrong question to be asking. We should be asking when will production peak? MORE>>


When, in May 2001, the conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch filed suit to see the records of Dick Cheney's National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), it was the first to protest the unheard of secrecy at the energy task force. As the White House stonewalled, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) filed suit the following February. Congress had, after all, funded the project. Non-governmental officials had played major roles in its deliberations and, under the Constitution, the GAO had an obligation to see how the money was spent and what was produced. White House refusals prompted media speculation about deals with Enron and big oil companies; a divvying of spoils, a rape of the environment. Judicial Watch was later joined in its suit by the Sierra Club. A scandal for everyone!  MORE>>

Gas Prices



Oil has been the cheapest and most convenient energy resource ever discovered by humans. During the past two centuries, people in industrial nations accustomed themselves to a regime in which more fossil-fuel energy was available each year, and the global population grew quickly to take advantage of this energy windfall. Industrial nations also came to rely on an economic system built on the assumption that growth is normal and necessary, and that it can go on forever. MORE>>


two planets

Industry observers noted that Aramco had never before said so much about their reserves and how they hold production steady in their ageing oil fields, but much of the Aramco presentation concentrated on the benefits of new technology, especially in their medium-sized fields, and the possibilities of future discoveries, without noting that well productivity had fallen by more than half since the early 1970s. More than half of Saudi Arabia's oil comes from one giant field, Ghawar, the largest ever discovered, and the health of this field is now in serious doubt, after decades of water injection to maintain pressure. MORE>>


The world began running out of oil soon after the birth of modern drilling during the 1850s. The question since then has always been:

When will the spigot start drying up?

Mounting evidence suggests that an important turning point may be close. According to several studies, oil production is expected to begin a permanent decline within a few years, prompting social and economic upheaval across the globe. MORE>>

into the future


saudi oil

When visitors tour the headquarters of Saudi Arabia's oil empire a sleek glass building rising from the desert in Dhahran near the Persian Gulf they are reminded of its mission in a film projected on a giant screen. "We supply what the world demands every day," it declares.

But the country's oil fields now are in decline, prompting industry and government officials to raise serious questions about whether the kingdom will be able to satisfy the world's thirst for oil in coming years.


A recently declassified CIA document casts new light on some of the most significant geopolitical events of the past quarter century. This document, an Intelligence Memorandum titled "The Impending Soviet Oil Crisis (ER 77-10147)," was issued in March 1977 by the Office of Economic Research and classified "Secret" until its public release in January 2001 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. MORE>>


iraq oil

It is increasingly clear that the US occupation of Iraq is about control of global oil resources. Control, however, in a situation where world oil supplies are far more limited than most of the world has been led to believe. If the following is accurate, the Iraq war is but the first in a major battle over global energy resources, a battle which will be more intense than any oil war to date. The stakes are highest. It is about fixing who will get how much oil for their economy at what price and who not. Never has such a choke-hold on the world economy been in the hands of one power. After occupation of Iraq it appears it is. MORE>>


Natural gas once was touted as the abundant, affordable energy source of the future.

Now there are escalating worries about a massive shortfall of the commodity, and that could lead to higher prices for the fuel that is used to heat most Utah homes and run some of the state's power plants.

Sounding the alarm is Andrew Weissman, founder and chairman of Energy Ventures Group LLC, based in Washington, D.C.



Annual crude oil output at Daqing Oil Field, China's largest oil field, will fall to 30 million tons by 2010, a steep drop of 18.4 million tons from last year's level, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Daqing's crude output will shrink by 7 percent yearly in the following seven years. Its crude output is expected to drop to 20 million tons by 2020, said Gai Ruyin, mayor of Daqing City in Heilongjiang Province. MORE>>

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