The stone age didn’t end because we ran out stones.By this I guess he meant that the industry should watch its success at maintaining a price cartel, because that would lead to intensified research on alternatives. Since the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s, OPEC has tried to keep pumping oil at the rate the market demands, to avoid the kind of price shocks that lead to renewed electric car research, better public transport, and so on.
|Oil prices adjusted to 2013 dollars. Source:|
It is plausible that this price spike is being driven by growing difficulties in extracting oil fast enough to meet demand. If you don’t know about peak oil theory, this may be a good time to find out.