"Peak oil" became a household term last year with the sky high death march of oil prices. Many supposed "experts," including Matthew Simmons and Robert Hirsch, became overnight celebrities on MSNBC, warning that the current and future supply of oil would bring dire consequences to civilized life on the planet. Their rationale stated, the situation of oil prices was a result of tight supply amidst high demand - as opposed to a speculative run, which it was (video) - global oil production was at or near peak, and global production was at or would soon enter an irreversible decline.
Now that the speculative oil bubble has burst, the global economy is in the shit can, and the world is drowning in an oil glut, prices has have rested to more palatable levels (some OPEC members, desperate for cash, are actually talking about increasing production!). This is handsomely benefiting consumers in developed countries, while (unfortunately) bruising oil producing nations' fiances. It appears cheap oil will be around for at least a bit longer. Out of the smoldering peak oil ruins has come a new concept: gap oil. Its rationale is that future oil demand will outstrip production, causing a supply-demand gap, propelling oil prices to the moon. The editorial can be read here.
Editor's comment: it's the opinion of Ghawar Guzzler that the next phase of energy evolution is in its prelude; that while oil is still king, its glory days as a fuel are in the late chapters, and future production will partially soothe demand; and humans will move into the next energy chapter in the decades ahead. One thing needed remembering is that most oil used is for transportation; solve this dilemma, and the world will have more oil than it will know what to do with, creating "fantastic" cheap plastic products such as beef jerky makers found at Wal-Mart. Portly greeseballs, rejoice!