In its first 100 years, the American oil industry found and burned 50-60 billion barrels of oil within the US borders (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). It was rather universally agreed, circa 1950, that the 150-200 billion barrels was the total amount of recoverable crude in the US. Thus the widely held view was that there was enough oil to last several generations. But Hubbert's curves gave a much different picture. They indicated that American production would peak quickly, within a generation, and decline rapidly.
Hubbert said: "I first worked this out in the middle 1930s, but the first time I really wrote it down was for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convention in 1948Ã¢â‚¬?, Hubbert says. Hubbert was swamped with mail, universally favorable? after the 1948 speech was printed a year later. But it was hardly noticed by the petroleum industry even though it was little different from the later, 1956 version which caused an uproar. Hubbert could be more specific in his 1956 analysis because of additional data and he predicted US crude production would peak in 10-15 years. This conclusion was almost universally considered outrageous at the time."