The letter “Peak-oil context” by Michael Lynch (OGJ, Feb. 25, 2008, p. 12) correctly points out that large additional reserves continue to be added to the world’s capacity, despite statements that the “elephants” have all been found (see, for example, the size of Tupi, p. 34 of the same edition). The figures should influence the market price of oil. The fact that they do not and the daily fluctuation of a few dollars along a rising trend point to market manipulation for which we all pay, and for which the industry will undoubtedly soon suffer, repeating history (yet again).
Peak oil understanding rests upon the presumption that current paradigms are correct and final. These act as a brake on knowledge development.
Fortunately, enterprise drives exploration to new frontiers, new surprises (Jack, Tupi, Indian gas, etc.), and new reserve additions.
An example of a paradigm that needs to fall is the 40-year-old idea that the Caribbean Plate came from the Pacific and therefore is oceanic. Many data show that the area shares geological history with the Gulf of Mexico and that continental crust is distributed around and within the plate.
Oil is seen in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Prolific hydrocarbon provinces exist north and south in the Gulf of Mexico and along northern South America. The Caribbean is a surprise waiting to happen. Once understood it will point the way to analogues elsewhere in the world. Peak-oil history has a long way to go.
Keith H. James