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Unformatted text preview: in North Dakota and ongoing increases in the conversion of tar sands to oil in Canada,
fresh supplies of petroleum are only just enough to offset the production decline from older fields. At best, the world
is now living off an oil plateau—roughly 75 million barrels of oil produced each and every day—since at least 2005, according to a new
comment published in Nature on January 26. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) That is a year earlier than estimated by the
International Energy Agency—an energy cartel for oil consuming nations. To support our modern lifestyles—from cars to plastics—the
world has used more than one trillion barrels of oil to date. Another trillion lie underground, waiting to be tapped. But given the
locations of the remaining oil, getting the next trillion is likely to cost a lot more than the previous trillion . The "supply
of cheap oil has plateaued," argues chemist David King, director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Enviro...
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