Gas: The Other Peak Oil Thing

There is lots of chatter out there about peak oil — the idea that global oil production has hit a plateau and will thereafter decline — but relatively few people are talking about how U.S. gas consumption has been flat-lining and is newly (mostly) declining year-over-year.

Could we have just seen the peak of U.S. gas consumption?


  1. I believe we have seen the peak in US consumption. But peak oil is not a US story. The US has 700 cars to 1000 people. China has 13 cars to 1000 people; India has 9 cars to 1000 people; Middle east has …

  2. nah. just a recession.

  3. Nathan Lewis from CalTech says we have 50-150 years worth of oil resources remaining; 200-600 years worth of natural gas and almost 2000 years of coal in our resource bsae. Probably too soon to talk peak oil, because we keep getting better at drilling and discovery.
    But peak gas consumption? Interesting thought. I still see a lot of Hummers on the road…

  4. Maybe gas isn’t completely inelastic… just takes a while to change habits (or vehicle)…

  5. It’s not possible to estimate a peak oil time line unless you incorporate a price deck going forward. The higher the price realized tyhe farther out the peak will be.

  6. Yet with prices ever higher, production may now be in decline as well. It has been flat since 2005.

  7. recession (no money) plus winter (no summer holidays) means people driving less and shorter. i’d guess this chart would have looked the same circa 2000-2001

  8. Abner McGonnagle says:

    While at the moment, the abiotic oil theory is viewed as the realm of cranks, it would be salutary to recall that sixty years ago plate tectonics were derided by mainstream geologists as kooky foolishness, yet it was eventually proven. Today’s heresy is tommorow’s othodoxy.
    Isn’t it odd that the main denouncers of abiotic oil often also have a vested interest in high prices, and the percieved scarcity that peak oil theory contributes to?