- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009


There is no historical basis for Carl Henn’s assertion that oil production has peaked (“Peak-oil-a-boo,” Letters, Wednesday). Every “peak oil” prediction of the past 100 years has been wrong.

In 1939, the Department of the Interior confidently predicted that oil would run out in 13 years. In 1951, the limit was extended another 13 years. And it was just over 40 years ago that environmentalists assured us that the wells would run dry in 30 years.

Mr. Henn should take comfort, in that the situation has only continued to improve. In September, the New York Times reported: “It is normal for companies to discover billions of barrels of new oil every year, but this year’s pace is unusually brisk. New oil discoveries have totaled about 10 billion barrels in the first half of the year, according to IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. If discoveries continue at that pace through year-end, they are likely to reach the highest level since 2000.”

So, contrary to Mr. Henn’s gloomy assessment that “we don’t have that much oil left,” many oil experts think we do. And they have more than a century of precedent to support that view.



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