Cheap Oil / Peak Oil
 

When the total oil deposits in the world are half used the price begins to rise because “half used up” is the threshold when supply can not be increased to meet rising demand.

Until that point, as long as there is more oil available than there was before, the supply can be increased.  As soon as there is less than there was before, which happens when half the resource has been used up, supply can no longer be increased to meet demand.

In 1956, a scientist named M. King Hubbert, determined that oil production in a region or country peaks 30 to 40 years after the peak in discoveries.  Oil discoveries in the US peaked around 1930, production peaked in 1971.  World oil discoveries peaked in 1967... 

I leave you to draw your own conclusion.

So if we haven’t actually reached the half way point yet it’s a good thing, because it means we have more time to prepare.  
However there is a problem with this way of thinking.  If we burn all that oil without more than offsetting the carbon we will raise the CO2 in the atmosphere to a level that could make the world uninhabitable.  Check the Climate Change page to see what happened to CO2 in the last 10 years. 
We need to prepare because declining supplies mean rising prices.  The exponential growth we have been “enjoying” over the last 150 years was only possible because of cheap oil. 
It’s going to take some very skillful navigating to get down the backside of the peak oil curve without major disruptions, whether it has happened, is happening or will happen,. 
Either way, it’s time to prepare for life in a post cheap oil world; especially since many aspects of it will be better and more enjoyable than the way we have been living.Climate_Change.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0
I also read an article about the USGS report that there are reserves under Montana that could keep US oil cheap for another 41 years.  Well good, that is still only just enough time to cure our addiction to cheap oil before the crash and we’ll need that oil to fuel the Transition.  More recently Hubbert’s findings have been refined by scientists from CERA.  Here’s a graph from CERA of how the peak might move based on these refinements.

1930

1971

USA

WORLD

When the Gulf Oil tragedy began I read (some) of the BP Annual Report. They were claiming to have discovered as much oil as they sold the previous year.  The problem is that the discoveries were mostly in deep ocean deposits that they had just demonstrated were difficult to extract without huge environmental risks.  However there is a problem with this way of thinking.  If we burn all that oil without more than offsetting the carbon we will raise the CO2 in the atmosphere to a level that could make the world uninhabitable.  Check the Climate Change page to see what happened to CO2 in just the last 10 years.Climate_Change.htmlClimate_Change.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1