If you think peak oil can't, won't, or will never happen in your lifetime, think again.
There are four oil fields in the world which produce over one million barrels per day. Ghawar in Saudia Arabia, which produces 4.5 million barrels per day, Cantarell in Mexico, which produces nearly 2 million barrels per day, Burgan in Kuwait which produces 1.7 million barrels per day and Da Qing in China which produces 1 million barrels per day.
This is what's happening at these oil fields...
Daqing: Declining by 7% a year (source: People's Daily)
Burgan: Exhausted. The Kuwaits can't increase production (source: Bloomberg). Although the Kuwaitis are now saying "God willing from Burgan the increase will be maybe 200,000 bpd by 2009" :)
Cantarell: Declining by 5% a year (source: Pemex, Mexico's state oil company)
And of course, the UK's North Sea oil production is crashing (source: official government stats) and Australia's oil production peaked in 2000.
The key to it all is Ghawar by far the biggest oil field in the world. Ghawar produces ~6% of the world's oil. There are some doomsayers out there who say production at Ghawar is already declining. I found these comments by "seismobob" particularly thought provoking.
The last few months of the Saudi production scare the heck out of me. I showed this to an engineer who is a very knowledgeable person and he said, "Oh my God, it has started and the world isn't ready for it."Of course its not a verifiable source, and it could be some kid mucking around on the internet, but the point is no-one knows what's really going on with oil production in Saudi Arabia. The world is hostage to a bunch of crackpot fiefdoms who won't tell us how much oil they have left.
I have known this individual for 15 years and that was the first time I actually saw him scared. He said that before I had said much. I just told him, 'look at the Saudi Production curve."
Not a good situation.