Rex Weyler, executive member of the Vancouver Peak Oil campaign group, has written a viewpoint on peak oil for Public Service Europe.
During the last century, society squandered 500 million years of captured sunlight on drag races, traffic jams, private jets, and overheated office buildings – warns campaign group. Oil company cheerleaders proclaiming huge supplies of oil are dead wrong. Peak oil is as real as rain, and it is here now. Not 2050. Not 2020. Now. Oil production has been flat since 2005. This is not by choice. The producers cannot increase production because new fields cannot keep pace with declining production from old fields. The plateau is the top of the global depletion curve. Furthermore, this end of energy growth only accounts for volume. Energy quality and net-energy are falling like stones as environmental devastation increases. Every producing oil field on earth is in decline unless it is brand new, and peak discoveries are well behind us. Meanwhile, the aggregate decline rate appears to be about 5% per year. To maintain world production, we would need to bring a new Saudi Arabia – equivalent to three billion barrels annually – into full production every three years. There exists on earth not one single promising field that remotely approaches those requirements.