Is peak oil imminent? Lots of people seem to think so.
The data (released by BP a company who have a vested interest in oil scarcity) don’t agree. Proved reserves keep increasing (see chart).
The oil in the ground will run out some day. But as the discovery of proven reserves continues to significantly outpace the rate of extraction, the claims that we’re facing immediate shortages looks trashy.
Some may try to cast doubt on these figures, saying that BP are counting inaccessible reserves, and that we must accept that while there are huge quantities of shale oil in the ground, the era of cheap and readily accessible oil is over. They might cite the idea that oil prices are much higher than they were ten years ago. Yet this is mostly a monetary phenomenon resulting from excessive money creation beyond the economy’s productive capacity. Priced in gold, oil is still very cheap — almost as cheap as it has ever been: