Is oil production past its peak?

I'm behind in my magazine reading again (or maybe still) so just ran across "Tapped Out," an article in June National Geographic about world oil supply and demand. The article updates a 2004 report by a Saudi oil geologist named Sadad I. Al Husseini who in the 1990s was skeptical of upbeat oil industry projections for future production. So Husseini began studying data from about 250 of the world's major oil fields, and he found that the upbeat projections were way off the mark. Of course his interpretation of his results was derided at the time, with many oil analysts saying his claim of peak world production leveling off at 85 million barrels a day and slowly declining from there was too pessimistic. Fast-forward to this year, where oil prices jumped so significantly (even though they now see the underside of $100 a barrel), and it turns out that Husseini and his analysis was right on the money, at least so far. Since 2004 oil production has basically leveled off at around 85 million barrels a day -- despite increased demand and price increases (a one-two combo that usually results in more product being produced). Check it out. The charts are as interesting as the article.

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