Peak Oil Overview – June 2007

The message that “peak oil” may be a problem is now reaching respected publications like Business Week. But how can a person learn more? Information about peak oil is often fragmented, and the quality of the sources is questionable. The purpose of this article is to document some of what is known about peak oil, so that readers have a better framework for understanding our current situation. Many links are provided, so that readers can dig deeper if they like.

1. What is peak oil?

“Peak oil” is the term used to describe the situation when the amount of oil that can be extracted from the earth in a given year begins to decline, because geological limitations are reached. Extracting oil becomes more and more difficult, so that costs escalate and the amount of oil produced begins to decline. The term peak oil generally relates to worldwide production, but a similar phenomenon exists for individual countries and other smaller areas. Continue reading