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Oil Shortage Begins

Is it the beginning of the end? According to a Swedish physicist, global oil production will peak sometime between 2008 and 2018 and then start to decline. Physicists have been right about this in the past.

In LiveScience.com, Melinda Wenner reports that, "Since 1956, when American geophysicist M. King Hubbert correctly predicted that US oil reserves would hit a peak within 20 years, experts have debated when the same might occur globally."

Swedish physicist Fredrik Robelius made a field-by-field analysis of over 300 giant oil fields in use today, which account for more than 60% of oil production. He predicts the rate at which this production will decline by factoring in the drop-off rates for similar fields, taking into consideration the new fields that are now being developed.

US physicist David Goodstein thinks Robelius's figures are correct and says, "Oil geologists have gone to the ends of the Earth to search out big fields, and it's very unlikely that another big one will be found. Even if another huge one is found, it would only put off the peak by a year or so."

Physicist Michael Lynch disagrees and says that just because we haven?t found major new sources of oil yet, it doesn't mean they don't exist, because "You don't go looking for them until you run out of the giant fields." He thinks it's partly a "perceptual problem?'if I don?t see it, it must not be there,'" while Robelius insists that it isn't practical to rely on extracting oil in the future, based on resources and technologies that haven't yet been developed or even discovered. There's no reason to assume that we'll have plenty of oil in the future, "without having any evidence whatsoever that that?s the case."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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