What Is Peak Oil?

I am glad to see that our posts last week generated some interesting questions.  One of our readers was inquiring about the terminology, Peak Oil:

Thanks, L., for asking about this very important while often confusing topic in the discussion of renewable and/or solar energy.  Peak Oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.  Peak oil is often confused with the oil depletion;peak oil is the point of maximum production while depletion refers to a period of falling reserves and supply. This concept, derived from Hubbert Curve,

A logistic (continuous probability) distribution shaped production curve, as originally suggested by M. King Hubbert in 1956.

is based on observed production rates of individual oil wells, and the combined production rate of a field of related oil wells.  The combined production rate from an oil field over time usually grows exponentially until the rate peaks and then declines, until the field is depleted.  M. King Hubbert created and first used the models behind peak oil in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970. Did you know that United States used to be one of the largest exporters of oil and now United States is one of the largest importers of oil?

More questions will be answered in the following posts.  Your comments and questions are always welcomed.  Some times it may take a while before all of the questions are addressed, so please be patient with us.

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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