The Peak is the Maximum Rate

Mark Perry can always be counted on to gleefully make a new chart for every new uptick in oil production over on his Carpe Diem blog for the American Enterprise Institute (like this and this and this). 

But in this case he took the chart on the left from the Wall Street Journal article I discussed recently (I also discussed the fact that the chart would look very different if "natural-gas liquids" were not included). 

I'm always reminded of an anecdote from Matt Simmons where he recalled magazines from 1970 where writers smugly observed that US oil production was at historic highs, while teasing M. King Hubbert for his predictions of early 1970s oil production peak. 

Of course, the ironic part about all of this is that the peak of production, by definition, occurs at the point of highest production.

The debate isn't about how oil production looks right now, the debate is about providing evidence for sustainable oil production growth in the future.

1970 was a long time ago, but it's important to remember those who assumed US oil production would continue skyward in those days, and the rude awakening in the years that followed.