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But peak oil is not about the end of oil. Geologically speaking, that will never happen. Rather, peak oil is about the end of the cheap, abundant, easy to extract oil, the "sweet" crude that has been the bedrock of our industrial civilization, and the basis of the economic growth we’ve come to take for granted. This older oil still accounts for 75 percent of our daily


consumption, but has been disappearing at the rate of 3-4 mb/d each year, and will be largely gone in 20 years. As older fields dry up, newer ones are not being discovered. In 20 years, cheap oil will be largely gone.

Peak oil is also about the increasing worldwide demand that is outstripping production. According to the latest report from the International Energy Agency, global oil demand is forecast to climb to 89.9 mb/d in 2012, a gain of 0.8 mb/d (or 0.9 percent) on 2011. Oil production has flat lined at around 85 mb/d since 2005; producers cannot increase production because new fields cannot keep pace with declining production from old fields, registering an aggregate decline rate about 5 per cent per year. When supply cannot meet demand, oil prices rise, along with everything else in our consumer-oriented society that is dependent upon oil (like our food).

Hence, energy companies have increasingly turned to unconventional sources, those previously identified reservoirs that were long considered inaccessible and prohibitively expensive, such as deep offshore and Arctic oil, shale oil, and tar sands.

Is Peak Oil Dead? - Brattleboro Reformer
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