From Business Insider:
"Below is a graph that we believe cast serious doubt on peak oil theory — the idea that we are imminently in danger of exhausting the world's hydrocarbon supply.
BP has a more nuanced, though no less categorical take:
"The world is not structurally short of hydrocarbon resources – as our data on proved reserves conﬁ rms year after year – but long lead times and various forms of access constraints in some regions continue to create challenges for the ability of supply to meet demand growth at reasonable prices."
-- Many people will be fooled by this. I suppose Business Insider likewise was fooled.
It's a fact that producers have built up their reserves over the past year or so because sustained high oil prices have provided strong incentives for exploration and drilling. But just looking at the numbers is deceiving. As one Japanese peak oil advocate constantly says, "With energy, quality is everything." Indeed so. Quality is falling because we've already used much of the good stuff. KSA is moving into its heavy oil reserves. And now we have news that Venezuela has higher reserves than KSA, but the dirty little secret is that much of Venezuela's oil is heavy, some of it even like tar. It takes more energy and money to develop and to refine, and in fact many refineries can't handle such heavy oil. And the energy yield is lower. So we're moving into a time when you can have more oil in quantity, but it will yield less useful energy.
Further, the decline in oil prices is now endangering the development of junk oil like Canadian tar sands. Here's another way in which oil reserve numbers are deceiving: The reserves are in fact there, but if they can't be economically developed, they're useless. There's lots of gold in the oceans, so why isn't anyone extracting it and getting rich? Same reason.
If we want to continue using oil, we had better hope for sustained high oil prices. -- Rice Farmer
Business Insider article