EnergyPeak oil: is the end of readily available oil supplies in sight?

Published 4 June 2012

What happens when a handful of the world’s largest oil fields — accounting for two-thirds of the world’s oil — run dry? What are the implications of such a prospect for food production, economic growth, and ultimately, global security? A new book explains the reality of peak oil and its far-reaching implications for the world’s future

What happens when a handful of the world’s largest oil fields — accounting for two-thirds of the world’s oil — run dry? What are the implications of such a prospect for food production, economic growth, and ultimately, global security?

In a new book, Peeking at Peak Oil (Springer; forthcoming, September 2012), physicist Kjell Aleklett explores the science and consequences behind the sobering reality that the world’s oil production is entering terminal decline with no currently satisfactory alternatives.

A Springer release says that Peeking at Peak Oil explains how oil is formed, discovered, and produced, using science to discuss the errors and less-than-accurate information in public assurances of public and private organizations with a vested interest in promoting business as usual. As president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) and head of a research group on peak oil, Aleklett presented the data and conclusions of his book at the 10th International ASPO Conference, which was held in Vienna, Austria, on 30 May – 1 June 2012.

The term “peak oil” was born in January 2001 when Colin Campbell founded ASPO, an organization dedicated to the scientific exploration of the idea that the world’s primary energy supply is finite and limited. ASPO says that peak oil, originally regarded as a fringe theory, has arrived. One telling sign is a 2012 International Monetary Fund working paper, The Future of Oil: Geology versus Technology, which incorporates Campbell’s depletion model, and concludes that oil prices can be understood only by considering supply constraints, that is, peak oil.

Springer says that Aleklett’s Peeking at Peak Oil offers readers a comprehensive understanding of this important emerging issue. The book argues that peak oil is not the end of oil, but peak oil does tell us the end is in sight.

Note that Springer will be bringing out the second edition of Colin J. Cambell’s Campbell’s Atlas of Oil and Gas Depletion, regarded by experts as the most comprehensive survey of global oil and gas supplies, in September 2012, to coincide with the publication of Peeking at Peak Oil.

— See Kjell Aleklett, Peeking at Peak Oil (Springer, 2012, ISBN 978-1-4614-3423-8), $34.95

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