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Submission + - Peak oil is a looming threat to security - GAO

Engineer-Poet writes: "Prompted by pressure from the Hon. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Tom Udall (D-NM), today the GAO released a ground-breaking report on peak oil. While it is arguably weakened by references to Richard Duncan's "Olduvai Gorge" theory and other fringe concepts, it deflates a number of widely-held misconceptions about ethanol, fuel cells, and a host of other things. Among the salient points:
  • US oil production peaked decades ago. Technology may slow the decline, but it is going nowhere but down.
  • Most of the major oil-producing nations in the world have either peaked, or appear to be peaking. (The list of "has-peakeds" includes Mexico, whose mammoth Cantarell field's production is dropping on the order of 20% per year.)
  • Most of the remaining oil in the world lies in politically unstable nations (think Venezuela and Iraq).
This is very much worth reading, not only for the graphs but also for the mind-opening discussions such as the difference between conventional oil, non-conventional oil and non-oil (page 7)."

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