It was peak oil day on CNBC, where Boone Pickens reversed his short oil call and said $125 a barrel is here to stay and peak-oil prognostician Dr. Robert Hirsch (author of Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management, a.k.a. the “Hirsch Report“) sent CNBC viewers scurrying for their “BUY!” buttons. $15 gas? Oil rationing? Cratering economy? Read on… (From The Oil Drum).
HIRSCH: We [have] hit [a] plateau in world oil production, and that plateau has been ongoing since about the middle of 2004.
HOST: Dr. Hirsch, there are a lot of people when we talk about peak oil who say there are going to be technologies that are always developed. There will be new ways to get oil, whether it’s from coal, whether it’s from the oil shales, and they say that means we will never actually hit peak oil. What do you say to those people?
HIRSCH: They’re incorrect, and the reason that they’re incorrect is that they don’t understand the magnitude of the problem and how long it’s going to take to bring substitute liquid fuels on and to
introduce energy efficiency on a massive scale. That’s something that we analysed and it takes decades. And the reason, simply, is that the magnitude of the problem is enormous.
[Other guest says we should drill more.]
HOST: Dr. Hirsch, what do you say to that–the idea that we should be drilling in places like ANWR and drilling offshore. Would that solve this problem of a plateau in oil production?
HIRSCH: There’s no single thing that’s going to solve this problem because it’s as massive as one can possibly imagine. And the prices that we’re paying at the pump today I think are going to be the good old days because others who watch this very closely forecast that we are going to be hitting $12 and $15 per gallon. And then, after that, when world oil production goes into decline, we’re going to talk about rationing. In other words, not only are we going to be paying high prices and have considerable economic problems, in addition to that, we’re not going to be able to get the fuel when we want it.