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More on Peak Oil

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- November 2, 2009

The recent Houston Chronicle op-ed, ostensibly written to respond to my New York Times op-ed, is worthy of reading for a variety of reasons, but primarily entertainment. The reference to me as Stephen Lynch was apparently an editor’s error, but the analogy of oil fields and glasses of water was quite enlightening as to the state of the debate. The three gentlemen comment on the difference between a straw in a glass (a supergiant field) and a puddle of water on the table requires many straws.

In fact, I know of no supergiant fields that have not required many straws, since oil fields are not ‘pockets’ of oil but rather oil that is in rock, rather as water is in a sponge. Drawing all of the fluid from one spot doesn’t mean that all of the oil will flow freely and uniformly to the straw: to the contrary, a given well usually drains a very limited area, and supergiant fields typically have numerous wells, hundreds even thousands, depending on the geology and geography.…