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2008.05.13

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Tom

Chicken Little lives!

"Peak Oil Theory" has been around for decades, and every time there is a change in oil prices, some dickhead shouts, "we're running out of oil! we're running out of oil!"

This "theory" completely ignores the significantly weightier THEORY of economics, which says that as the price rises, more supply will be made available.

By the way, gas today is only marginally more expensive - in real $ - than it was 20 years ago.

Zachary

I think the market is speaking pretty plainly on the subject of Peak Oil. It's here. Gas is expensive and getting more so. Supply is not increasing with the uptick in demand, because the oil is running low, and the last dregs are harder and more expensive to extract. The market is starting to see opportunities for profit in alternative fuels.

Eric Janszen predicts in the Harpers article "The Next Bubble" that the next boom bust cycle (after the dot-com and housing busts) will be alternative energy. He believes that it will be the next hot thing to receive massive investment. This is probably good, because we really need alternatives to oil, not to mention something to heal our economy after the housing crash. But the downside is that it will become hyperinflated, as did tech stocks and house prices, and will itself subsequently crash.

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081908

Randy Cox

I'm the CTO for WebPartner. One of the things I do is run a WebPartner "channel" tracking Peak Oil as a topic. I have "WatchPoints" that follow the conversation on the web from proponents of Peak Oil theory to those who attempt to debunk it. It's something I've been interested in for a long time as a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines in '84 in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining. I thought you might be interested in the link.

http://www.webpartner.com/iup/channelroom.php?chid=8y572hijr7YBjJmS

Mike

There is a great article on Hubbert's perspective and Peak Oil Theory in Scientific American, entitled "The End of Oil" (2001).

Tom

"...there is little evidence to support the doctrine of "peak oil" in its extreme form. The Middle East still seems to contain a sea of the stuff..."

Economist Magazine, May 31, 2008, page 13.

One needs to understand the difference between short term and long term supply elasticity, and then mix in the relatively short-term of demand elasticity, to comprehend much about how oil price moves.

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