Scientists use the term 'peak' to describe the point where half the world's
original endowment of oil would be depleted. (That includes cumulative production,
known reserves and reserves projected to be discovered.) After peak, world
production of oil will slow down, and unless demand declines dramatically,
price will continuously rise and supply disruptions will occur. This is likely
to bring about economic and political turmoil as well as wars over the control
of the remaining oil.
When will worldwide oil production peak? Experts are divided between optimists --
those who believe that oil production will peak in about 20-30 years-- and the
pessimists -- those who argue that peak will come much sooner, in the first
decade of this century.
The Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO)