Have our oil reserves peaked? Peak oil is a concept that was originally devised by M. King Hubbert in the 1950s. The basic concept is that once oil production reaches its maximum output, a sharp decline will follow… creating massive economic problems. It is estimated that our known oil deposits will be depleted by the year 2052. Predictions vary greatly as to what exactly these negative effects would be.
Optimistic estimations of peak oil production predict the global decline will begin after the year 2020 or even 2030. They assume major investments in alternatives fuel/energy sources will occur without requiring drastic changes in the lifestyles of large oil-consuming nations, like the USA, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, for example.
Pessimistic predictions of future oil production made after 2007 stated either that the peak had already occurred, that oil production was on the cusp of the peak, or that it would occur shortly. The science isn’t precise, so we may never know if peak oil production has been reached until years after it’s occurred.