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The entrenched notion that the world will soon start running short of oil was jolted earlier this year when an expert study concluded that, contrary to what most people believe, oil-supply capacity is expanding so fast that it will outpace consumption by a wide margin in the next few years.

The study by Leonardo Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an energy specialist in the Belfer Center at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, added that this supply surge “could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.” Proponents of “peak oil” argue that global oil output is reaching its maximum possible level and will fall irreversibly as production declines and consumption rises, pushing prices of increasingly scarce oil higher.

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