Monday, December 8, 2008

Peak Oil (What the Fighting is All About)


Peak oil is the point or timeframe at which the maximum global petroleum production rate is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline. If global consumption is not mitigated before the peak, the availability of conventional oil will drop and prices will rise, perhaps dramatically. M. King Hubbert first used the theory in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970. His model, now called Hubbert peak theory, has since been used to predict the peak petroleum production of many other countries, and has also proved useful in other limited-resource production-domains. According to the Hubbert model, the production rate of a limited resource will follow a roughly symmetrical bell-shaped curve based on the limits of exploitability and market pressures.