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Daniel Yergin once said, “This is not the first time we have run out of oil. It is more like the fifth.” But today’s speculation and discussions about “peak oil” and when (not if) we really will be unable to meet energy demand are no longer rejected out of hand by those of us who are bullish on future oil supply. In some ways, the actual reserve numbers are not as vital to our immediate concerns, as are the productive capacities of existing and developing fields.
Inevitably, some large blocks of oil or gas supplies will be removed from the market place, potentially with little or no warning. This can be due to natural disasters, political decisions or even terrorist actions. The fact that the remaining hydrocarbon producers have eight or 80 years of remaining reserves matters less in such cases than how much production can be increased in the near term.
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