I've been a fan of Gail Tverberg's stuff since I first came across it on the late Oil Drum. Gail is not an oil expert, she's an actuary, she specialises in statistics and data and demographics and she sees stuff that most of us miss.
Like this little ball of dynamite from Syria
Syria’s oil production is dropping. The drop between 1996 and 2010 reflects primarily the effect of depletion. The especially steep drop in the last two years reflects the disruption of civil war and international sanctions, in addition to the effect of depletion.
When oil exports drop, the government finds itself suddenly less able to pay for programs that people have been expecting, such as food subsidies and new irrigation programs to support agriculture. If revenue from oil exports is sufficient, desalination of sea water is even a possibility. In Syria, wheat prices doubled between 2010 and 2011, for a combination of reasons, including drought and a cutback in subsidies. When basic commodities become too high priced, citizens tend to become very unhappy with the status quo. Civil war is not unlikely. Thus, oil depletion is likely a significant contributor to the current unrest.
In 30 years, Syria's population nearly trebled but its ability to provide for that population has been shrinking for exactly half of that time. That makes reral sense as a driver of unrest and civil war.
Further down the piece she applies the same analysis to Egypt and Yemen and Saudi Arabia. In February 2004 I posted a piece (Now apparently missing from the blog) called "Did we just go over the hump" about why I thought we had reach global peak oil as Saudi Arabia gave all the political signs of no longer being able to pump the stuff at will.
I've had no reason since then to change my opinion and endless yapping about fracking being a game changer etc is just that; you don't spend billions squeezing out every last drop if you could spend millions to get buckets-full.
Oh, and Norway is about to get a right wing government in part because they have been able to blame the current one for "wasting the oil opportunity", just as the UK did in the 80's.
In every case, countries that find significant oil piss away the opportunity, they talk and act as if this finite resource is unlimited and time after time, within a single lifetime, it proves not to be the case. But apparently we have zero ability to learn from the mistakes of others, we have to do it all over again for ourselves.
And then we refuse to acept the reality so we elect fantasists, our own current shower of "not quite-free market" true believers, now in Australia, and Norway and so on. We elect "conservatives" because, having changed everything about the way we live, we suddenly don't want to change away from the good times and we are suckered into believing that they can, somehow, magically as it happens, be prolonged forever.
They can't. We are living through the early phase of how that "can't" turns into "didn't". And if you aren't, right now, taking substantive action to wrap up, you will be naked in the cold; probably praying for more global warming.