The Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society has published a special edition on “The Future of Oil Supply” edited by Richard Miller and Steve Sorrell. I have not read the papers, but the volume is interesting because it brings together authors who in the past were on opposing sides of the Peak Oil debate.
Were they crying “Wolf”?
Concerns about “peak oil” have recurred repeatedly since the resource was first developed, but they reached an unprecedented height in 2007 just prior to the global economic recession. Since then public concern has diminished, partly as a result of shale oil production in the United States. Yet, despite these developments and globally rising reserves, oil prices have almost doubled since 2010 and have tripled in a decade. The ‘peak oil’ debate has not gone away – oil remains critically important, adequate substitutes have yet to be found and concerns about depletion persist.