Is this the end of Peak Oil?
Well, maybe not. Nature doesn’t know that “The Oil Drum” is shutting down, apparently suffering from reduced traffic and a dwindling numbers of contributors. These days the average Internet Joe no longer buys into the Peak Oil meme, instead believing that US Unconventional technology has cracked that proverbial nut and the country will shortly be energy self-sufficient. Ultimately, time will tell if this is an over optimistic phase and peak oil will come back with a vengeance when the US unconventional boom is drilled out (my personal prediction), which may be sooner & more dramatic than you’d think; or whether the unconventional technologies can be applied globally, leading us to a period of plentiful, if not cheap, oil (also in the distribution of possible outcomes, albeit with the recognition that even this would be temporary). Nature doesn’t care at all about our predictive ramblings at all, Peak Oil simply will or will not happen.
Either way, The Oil Drum won’t be around to document it. As of 31st July 2013 the website will simply be an archive.
Over the years there has been a significant amount of decent information on The Oil Drum (ok, and a few wingnuts, but they get everywhere). Much of its Macondo/Deepwater Explorer commentary was excellent. It is a shame to see it go.
But with every day the conventional oilfields of the world will be slightly more depleted than yesterday. Unconventionals will have their time in the sun, but it seems we are not using that time wisely to really think about the alternatives. Expect a gap in the market a few years from now for a The Oil Drum replacement…