In 1956, M. King Hubbert, a Shell Oil geologist predicted that peak oil production for the United States would occur in the early 1970s. American discoveries peaked in the early 1930s and historically production will lag peak discoveries by approximately 40 years. Global oil discoveries reached their peak in 1964. Therefore we currently have less than half the oil reserves we once had, and those remaining reserves will become increasingly difficult to extract as oil demand continues to rise.
Currently for every three barrels of oil discovered only one is produced. The fields being discovered now are smaller and exist in more remote areas, making each barrel more difficult to produce. In a comment from the U.S. Government Accountability Office the energy situation is stated plainly:
"The consequences of peak and permanent decline in oil production could be even more prolonged and severe than those of past oil supply shocks. Because the decline would be neither temporary nor reversible, the effects would continue until alternative transportation technologies to displace oil become available in sufficient quantities at comparable costs."
The Energy Problem
A Clean Vision