Here’s Why “Peak Oil” Peaked

The Oil Drum, the internet’s home for believers in “peak oil” — the time when world oil production maxes out and economic calamity ensues — has shut down after more than eight years. And you can’t blame them: Oil prices and production bottomed out five years ago.

The Oil Drum, a blog that functioned as a clearinghouse for any and all things “peak oil” announced earlier this month that it would stop updating and will remain solely as a static archive.

Rembrandt Koppelaar, one of the blog’s founders, wrote on July 3 that The Oil Drum would no longer put out new material “due to scarcity of new content caused by a dwindling number of contributors.” He wrote that, “Despite our best efforts to fill this gap we have not been able to significantly improve the flow of high quality articles.” And it’s not just on The Oil Drum that peak oil discussion has been flagging, but all over the internet.

2. Mentions of “peak oil” in news publications peaked between July 2007 and July 2008, according to Nexis.

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3. Web search interest in “peak oil” peaked in August 2005 and spiked again in May 2008.

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4. Oil prices also peaked around then, hitting $145 per barrel in July 2008.

5. U.S. crude production also bottomed out in 2008 and has been climbing ever since.

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6. But the real energy revolution has been in natural gas. Thanks to drilling techniques like hydrofracking and horizontal drilling, vast swathes of the United States have been turned into gas gushers.

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