More Tweaks on the Beaks of the Peaks

Beating up on the Malthusian “peak oil” crowd never gets old, and even though we took up this subject just last week (but also last year, and two years before that), I can’t resist noting that yet another prediction of mine has come true already.

Last week I mentioned that some time soon The Economist was likely to reprint their “Drowning in Oil” cover from 1999 (below). Well this didn’t take long, though it is Bloomberg first out of the gate, with this headline today:

IEA Drowing in Oil

Go here if you want to see the public release of the International Energy Agency’s monthly oil market report on which this headline is based. The Wall Street Journal helpfully reports this morning on what the IEA was saying (as reported in Science magazine) about the prospects for oil back in 1998—right before the huge glut of oil took the price down to $10 a barrel a year later:

This spring . . . the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported for the first time that the peak of world oil production is in sight. Even taking into account the best efforts of the explorationists and the discovery of new fields in frontier areas like the Caspian Sea . . . sometime between 2010 and 2020 the gush of oil from wells around the world will peak at 80 million barrels per day, then begin a steady, inevitable decline, the report says.

Current world oil production, by the way, is above 96 million barrels per day. So much for forecasts.

Economist Cover