The idea of "peak oil" has been around for decades. It's that magical, mystical number of barrels that the world will hit and never hit again. Many have speculated that it would run out for years. But, a recent study suggests that we still have a couple of decades before we even hit our peak.
The IHS Cambridge Research Associates released its report "The Future of Global Oil Supplies: Understanding the Building Blocks" just a couple of weeks ago. IHS believes the world will not hit peak oil before 2030 and will then plateau for decades after that. That peak is expected to be 115 million barrels a day.
IHS analysts say they looked at data from 450 oil fields around the world with an average decline rate of 4.5 percent to come up with the numbers. While critics say the numbers are far too optimistic and the world simply cannot meet that peak, the authors of the study say it's not geology that will limit oil supply, but geopolitics.
"Looking ahead, we can see that the upstream industry faces many challenges," the report said, "the longer-term problem lies not below ground, but in obtaining the investment and resources the industry will need to grow supply significantly from current levels."
Related Stories »