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On this page: 1. Peak oil primer What is peak oil? Peak oil is the simplest label for the problem of energy resource depletion, or more specifically, the peak in global oil production.
According to the 25-year forecast in the IEA's latest annual World Energy Outlook, the most likely scenario is for crude oil production to stay on a plateau at about 68 to 69 million barrels per day. In this scenario, crude oil production "never regains its all-time peak of 70 million barrels per day reached in 2006," said IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2010 . In previous years, the IEA had predicted that crude oil production would continue to rise for at least another couple of decades. Now, because of rising oil prices, declines in investment by the oil industry, and new commitments by some nations to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the new forecast says oil production is likely to be lower than the IEA had expected. The projected flat crude oil production doesn’t translate into an immediate shortage of fuels for the world’s cars and trucks.