The maximum rate of world oil production. With the exception of a few anamolies due to unusual geology and other various factors, every oil field follows a pattern in its production where oil production increase as it's first developed, reaches a maximum point or plateaus at a lesser artifical maximum, and then declines from then onward. When this maximum production is reached on a worldwide level, that is peak oil.

The real interests of this are of course the effects decreasing oil production will have on the world economy if the mainstream is not converted to a different alternative energy infastructure beforehand. Since the world economy's infastructure is so heavily dependent on oil, the price of everything else will go up as well as oil (which will skyrocket as the price of oil has been kept at an artifical low for the last several decades by excessive supply), and the economy will come to a crashing and spectacular finish as the world is thrown into super depression and the social instability that entails. More dire predicts based on the reliance of modern agriculture on cheap oil speak of a massive dieoff as the world's food production, some claim, will no longer be able to support a world population above 4 billion.

Armed with such predictions, many peak oilists are strong advocates of alternative energy in the hopes these apocalyptic scenarios don't come to pass.
1. Dude: Things will be like a paradise on Earth forever and ever. Nothing bad will ever happen to us ever again. Human genius can solve every problem no matter how unrealistically dire, just like TV!

Dude2: But your forgetting... PEAK OIL!

2. Unfounded optimism won't move your car.
by We are all so screwed! March 29, 2005
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Peak oil is the midpoint of all oil production. Oil production whether its from a single oil well, an oil field or the whole world follows a bell shaped curve. After you reach the top of this curve the well goes into decline and will never produce more oil than it did at the peak. Decline rates are usually around 3-4%, but if sea water injection is used (or natural gas) like in Saudi Arabia decline rates will be as high as 10% a year or higher.

Largest known reserves goes as follows:
Saudi Arabia with about 25% of the world recoverable oil
Iran with 10%
and Iraq with 10%

The United States is in the biggest pickle of all, with 5 percent fo the worlds population but using up an astonishing 25 percent of the oil the entire world produces every year, the US economy feels even the smallest fluctuations in the price of oil more than other countries.

Dates for when oil production will peak range from anyday now to 2040. But most group in tight around 2010-2015.

For every barrel of oil we use, we discover only one quarter of a barrel, that is to say, we use four times the amount of oil than we find. Oil discoveries peaked in the 1960's.
For a general idea, oil discoveries inside the United States peaked in the 30's and then oil production inside the United States peaked in the early 70's. So roughly fourty years later. Mind you, consumption of oil wasnt slowed down during that time period like it was during the 70's, 80's and 90's by shortages in supply and the following high prices.

So, now knowing that oil production is going to peak, within your lifetime, and that Iraq has the thrid largest oil reserves, do you wonder why the United States is at war?
We're basically fucked, hold on, cherrish your big screen TV's for a few more years, and make the best of the food shortages. Peak oil will not be fun.
by Rabbit Man 2008 February 20, 2006
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An end-of-the-world doomsday cult. People who deny that we still have a good 150-200 years of oil left as well as dozens of other energy sources that will easily and painlessly replace oil when the time comes. Peak oil is the belief that oil supplies have already, or will shortly, pass the 50% depletion mark, at which time civilization will collapse and billions will starve because there is nothing to replace oil.
Oh gawd, not another peak oil nut. Didn't you learn your lesson when nothing happened at Y2K?
by 2182 July 11, 2009
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