Cornell University geology professor Muawia Barazangi claims that the time of "peak oil" in the Middle East could readily be pushed out another 50-100 years by updating drilling and pumping strategies. During a recent speech, he showed maps illustrating where he thinks there are still huge amounts of unrecovered oil. Although some researchers believe we will reach "peak oil", the point at which oil production will begin to decline, within the next twenty years, Barazangi, believes there is a lot more untapped oil in the ground.
Earth and atmospheric sciences professor Rick Allmendinger is more skeptical. He believes that although more oil will be discovered, few will be of the huge type found in the Persian Gulf region, new finds will get harder and be smaller. The problem with this whole argument is that even if more oil is found, the whole world needs to be focused on using less of it. The combustion of fossil fuels continues to pump carbon into the atmosphere, that was previously trapped in the ground. The efforts need to be redirected from fossil fuel discovery to carbon neutral energy creation.
[Cornell University Chronicle Online via Hugg]