Fifty years later, that estimate had tripled to 3 trillion barrels. In recent years, the concept of peak oil has been much debated. The peak oil theory is based on the fact that the amount of oil is finite. After peak oil, according to the Hubbert Peak Theory, the rate of oil production on earth will enter a terminal decline. In the United States, oil production peaked in 1971 and some analysts have argued that on a global basis, the peak has also occurred. Others argue that peak oil is a myth. An article in the journal Science argued. Although hydrocarbon resources are irrefutably finite, no one knows just how finite.
Oil is trapped in porous subsurface rocks, which makes it difficult to estimate how much oil there is and how much can be effectively extracted. Some areas are still relatively unexplored or have been poorly analyzed. Moreover, knowledge of in-ground oil resources increases dramatically as an oil reservoir is exploited.
To “cry wolf” over the availability of oil has the sole effect of perpetuating a misguided obsession with oil security and control that is already rooted in Western public opinion—an obsession that historically has invariably led to bad political decisions.