Say you have lots of oil (like 2e11 barrels or more) and other people have lots (just not as much) of oil. What do you do to maximize profits over the lifetime of your oil sales at uncertain prices?

You have two concerns: getting a not-too-low price for your oil, and selling your oil before people switch to alternative energy sources. To get a not-too-low price, you join together with as many other oil producers as possible and collude to restrain production to keep prices high, but not high enough to make people en masse seek out alternative energy sources. Sometimes this cartel will work, sometimes it won't; but it's better than just liquidating your holdings.

To sell your oil before people make The Switch, you want to:

  1. keep people uncertain about how much oil remains
  2. have production at full tilt when you run out
  3. run out roughly at the same time as others run out
As long as oil remains at a "good" price (not too cheap, not too expensive that other technologies become viable), people will keep using your oil as the best solution. Forward thinking people will have inaccurate, non-dangerous data (global oil production won't be falling, any inquiries for current details will be denied, so researchers have to make rough estimates) making oil cost prediction difficult enough that alternatives energy sources will not have widespread adoption ahead of time. And you will definitely sell almost all your oil at a "good" price, with a significant chance of selling it all.

Just prior to the end, you should alert the rest of the world that oil supplies seem dangerously low. This lead time should not be long enough so as to allow people to transition easily. That way, you can use all the money you got from oil sales to purchase global assets on the cheap when people freak out about making The Switch. The lead time should also not be too short as to cause a complete global economic meltdown, as upset people might take your assets.