Sorry folks, it's been a while since we've posted! It's not that there's no more Peak Oil - rather we've been busy with other things, and we've said quite a bit about the topic in the past. Not much has changed, if anything. But an update is warranted in order to address comments from friends and followers - comments such as "Gee, I guess Peak Oil has been postponed?", or "I guess we don't have to worry about Peak Oil anymore!" Often they have a smile on their face ...
These comments come in the wake of a plethora of articles like: Sad News for Peak Oil Disciples
So what's the thesis here, what are they talking about? The gist is that the recent application of horizontal, multi-stage completions to shale oil plays, coupled with a future increase in Canadian tar sands oil will lead to record oil production rates for North America and lessen dependence on foreign oil; some go as far as to say that the USA will become energy independent. So, no more problems with Peak Oil, huh?
With all due respect to the smart people making those comments, you have to wonder why current oil and gasoline prices (over $95/bbl, around $4/gallon) don't make more of an impression on them, compared to a few news stories on shale oil booms. However, many people have been touched in a positive way by the recent shale gas and shale oil booms. Those who live in South Texas, or West Texas, or North Dakota, or the eastern Ohio (or a number of other places around the country) have front row seats to the drilling activities which are providing jobs and business opportunities to virtually everyone in those places. It you are ever in Carrizo Springs, Texas, drop by one of the few cafes at lunch time (if you can get a seat) and notice all the smiles around the room! What fool would worry about there ever being not enough oil when you're in the midst of booms like these?
We would have to say that the confusion we have spoken of before is once again on the prowl. And understandably so - how can anyone, even those of us who keep pretty close tabs on the "oil patch", sort through all of the stories and statistics?
So, if we have so much more oil production rate available now, why is oil currently so expensive? Granted, things are getting more and more tenuous in the Middle East, but most analysts only allocate a $20 - $30/bbl premium for that worry. Recall when oil was $12/bbl (we do, only too well), as recently as 1999. So? Well, there hasn't been that much inflation (8X) since then! So if Peak Oil has gone away, what gives? Big Oil conspiracy? We think not. Something else is [still] going on. See the quote from "Mitch" above, which expresses Peak Oil in a very few words.
Back in June an analyst wrote an article tweaking Dr. Colin Campbell's graphs. (As you may recall, Dr. Campbell is one of the modern fathers of Peak Oil.). It was a good article, but our response was this: