You might want to take a look at oil economist James Hamilton’s exposition on why peak oil predictions have proven too pessimistic. Here’s his conclusion:
We like to think that the reason we enjoy our high standards of living is because we have been so clever at figuring out how to use the world’s available resources. But we should not dismiss the possibility that there may also have been a nontrivial contribution of simply having been quite lucky to have found an incredibly valuable raw material that for a century and a half or so was relatively easy to obtain. Optimists may expect the next century and a half to look like the last. Benes and coauthors are suggesting that instead we should perhaps expect the next decade to look like the last.
Or, alternatively, it might be the fact that it was cheap and so easy to obtain that resulted in its being so highly used.