In a little-noticed milestone, US crude oil production in March-April 2018 exceeded previous all-time monthly peak of 310 million barrels October 1970.
It is also extremely likely that production during 2018 will exceed the record year of 1970.
So much for #peakoil.
In all fairness, it’s not so much that their models were flawed – the actual mathematics of Hubbert’s Peak are solid – as that they didn’t account for technology. Even those models that did tended to have production stretching out into a plateau on the right, as opposed to crashing. But almost none of the peakists projected that the technology would be so powerful as to basically invert the graph.
Note that reserves in the US are fairly limited; it has almost an order of magnitude fewer reserves than Saudi Arabia. So if the US could engineer this turnaround – even accounting for its unique combination of loose regulatory environmental, technological finesse, and financial depth – much the same goes for the world at large, should higher future demand for oil necessitate major step ups in production.
Reminder that we are also waiting for the shale producers to all go bankrupt due to their inability to recoup costs on sunk wells, something that bears have been predicting since the early 2000s.
1. Peak oil is dead. Speculations about future Peak Gas are even more dead.
2. Strategic situation of the US, with its withdrawal from Iraq and much greater level of hydrocarbons self-sufficiency, is in many ways stronger than in 2008.