The BBC asks Is the world's oil running out fast?
Interesting question. As the price of oil rises, we should find new ways to extract it, new ways to conserve and, at long last, alternative energy sources.
Still, the price of oil will rise, and the increased price will affect the world economy. After we reach the peak oil production point (possibly within 5 years), and production begins to fall, how will markets react? Will oil futures smooth the transition to a more limited oil supply? Or will there be a psychological discontinuity that will send the world markets into a tailspin?
I'm not an expert.
However, some members of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) believe that the coming oil crunch will be painful.
Recent oil price hikes and weak refining capacity have been a boon for the oil business. Similarly, I expect that oil companies will profit from declining oil production. Lucky them.
The BBC has a nice series of articles on life in the age of dwindling oil supplies, including one entitled What to use when the oil runs out.