This is a bit off-topic perhaps, but I'm looking for a sanity check on the theory of "Peak Oil."
In the late 1940's, a petroleum geologist, Dr. M. King Hubbert, theorised that when approximately of 50% a finite resource like crude oil has been extracted it's production peaks and thereafter production goes into terminal decline. He used this theory to predict that US oil production in the lower-48 would peak between 1968 and 1971. It actually peaked in 1970 and production has been declining ever since. Similar peaks and declines in oil production have been observed in other parts of the oil producing world and the current state of the theory says that global peak oil production is either happening now or will in the next couple of years at most.
The link below gives a good summation of the problem and I am curious to see what people will say to support or debunk the theory. Keep in mind a few key numbers.
The world currently consumes 4 times more oil than it finds on an annual basis. The peak of global discovery was in the 1960's and finds have been steadily declining ever since.
Global oil consumption is about 80 million barrels/day (29 billion bbl/yr) on estimated recoverable reserves of between 1000 to 1200 Gbbl.
Demand has been growing at an average rate of 2.5%-4% per year for decades.
There is less than 1 Mbbl/day of "excess" production capacity in the system, all of it in Saudi Arabia.
There are a whole raft of implications of a peak in oil production and subsequent decline which also need to be discussed, but am I right in thinking this is a huge and looming problem?
Note: I am not associated with either of these websites, and at the moment, am not advocating their theories.