What is Peak Oil

Peak oil refers to a point in time when the production of oil is at the highest. There is no scope of it rising again. But it cannot stay at this position for any longer period. From this point onwards the production of oil starts falling. The cost of extraction of oil rises tremendously and a shortage is felt all over. The reserves of oil in the earth become depleted and the geographical areas become difficult to be traced after a certain point of time. Though the peak oil concept applies to the total global oil scenario, similar situations can occur in the countries or even in smaller geographic areas.

Some people believe that the concept of peak oil is something of the past that happened in the USA long time ago. These people do not believe that such a situation can occur now. While there are a few people who even believe that the world is definitely going to face a shortage of the oil which can never be used again by the mankind. Both these thoughts are absolutely extremes. Both of them do not define the exact thought that lies behind the peak oil.

The concept only talks about how quickly the oil wells can be depleted when there is a production shortage. An estimate of the production is taken of the individual oil wells and the oil reserves that a country or state has in itself. An average production rate of these resources will grow rapidly at first till it reaches its peak. Then there is no more possibility of increasing, this is when the production starts falling. The falling rate may vary. It can be slow and steady at times and can be very rapid at a certain time too. It will continue to fall till the field is completely depleted.

Peak oil is a concept very different from oil depletion. In oil depletion the reserves and supplies of the oil keep falling. Where as in the peak oil that is not the case. In this the oil becomes difficult to extract that too for a reason that the production ha reached its highest level. At the time of the peak the oil prices all around the globe are low. But post the peak when the decline starts happening the oil prices keep increasing.

Some people argue saying that we are still finding more and more oil every year then why should these issues be faced. But less do they realize that the amount of oil that could be extracted fifty years from now cannot be extracted now. Moreover the amount of oil that we use has also increased drastically.