Contra all the comments to my earlier posts about the myth of depletion, it looks like rising oil prices actually are increasing the quantity of available oil. As I've explained many times, as oil prices rise, oil sources that were previously un-exploitable due to high costs become profitable.

The United States has an oil reserve at least three times that of Saudi Arabia locked in oil-shale deposits beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, according to a study released yesterday. ...

For years, the industry and the government considered oil shale — a rock that produces petroleum when heated — too expensive to be a feasible source of oil.

However, oil prices, which spiked above $70 a barrel this week, combined with advances in technology could soon make it possible to tap the estimated 500 billion to 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels, the report found.

Yes, oil will stay expensive, but prices will drop once refining processes are optimized and infrastructure is in place. It's simple economics: as price rises, so does supply.

(HT: Glenn Reynolds.)

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