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Peak Oil's Decline

If the final decades of the 20th century were dominated by fears of peak oil, the early years of the new century have led to a rapid decline in peak oil theory. From the innovations in U.S. shale drilling to the Canadian oil sands and, most recently, Japan's initial success (referenced in this photo of a Japanese exploration vessel) with unlocking deep sea methane hydrate as a fuel source, the world is suddenly awash in unconventional sources of oil and gas that few foresaw a mere decade ago.

Early estimates of the resource potential of similar methane hydrates worldwide suggest an amount as much as twice all other fossil fuels on the planet. The decline of peak oil fears has been most acutely experienced in the U.S., with the rise of shale oil and gas, which has led to a complete rethinking of energy supply and demand.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images