Predicting the timing of peak oil


Predicting the timing of peak oil

M. King Hubbert, who devised the peak theory, correctly predicted in 1956 that oil production would peak in the United States between 1965 and 1970Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels,M.K. Hubbert, Presented before the Spring Meeting of the Southern District, American Petroleum Institute, Plaza Hotel, San Antonio, Texas, March 7-8-9, 1956 [http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/1956/1956.pdf] ] . Hubbert further predicted a worldwide peak at "about half a century" from publication and approximately 12 gigabarrels (GB) a year in magnitude, though he revised this estimate in 1974 to 40-Gb/yr in 1995.cite journal
quotes =
author = Noel Grove, reporting M. King Hubbert
date =
year = 1974
month = June
title = Oil, the Dwindling Treasure
journal = National Geographic
volume =
issue =
pages =
issn =
pmid =
doi =
id =
url = http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/natgeog.htm
language = English
format =
accessdate =
laysummary =
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laydate =
quote =
] "if current trends continue". In a 1976 TV interview Hubbert added that the actions of OPEC might flatten the global production curve but this would only delay the peak for perhaps 10 years [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImV1voi41YY YouTube - 1976 Hubbert Clip ] ] .

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, global oil consumption actually dropped (due to large oil price shocks in 1973 and 1979, the shift to energy-efficient cars,cite web
url=http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/fetrends/420s06003.htm
title=Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2006 - Executive Summary
publisher=EPA EPA420-S-06-003
date=2006-07
language=English
] the shift to electricity and natural gas for heating,cite journal
title=Oil and nuclear power: Past, present, and future
author=Ferenc L. Toth, Hans-Holger Rogner,
journal=Energy Economics
volume=28
year=2006
issue=1 – 25
pages=pg. 3
url=http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/Pess/assets/oil+np_toth+rogner0106.pdf
language=English
] and other factors), then assumed a lower level of growth in the mid 1980s (see chart on right). Thus oil production did not peak in 1995. This underscores the fact that the only reliable way to identify the timing of peak oil will be in retrospect. However, predictions have been refined through the years as up-to-date information becomes more readily available, such as new reserve growth data.cite web
url=http://energy.cr.usgs.gov/oilgas/addoilgas/reserve.html
title=Reserve Growth
publisher=USGS
author=
date=
language=English
]

Colin Campbell of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) had suggested that the global production of conventional oil peaked in the spring of 2004. During 2004, approximately convert|24|Goilbbl|m3 of conventional oil were produced, as well as convert|6|Goilbbl|m3 from unconventional sources (heavy oil and tar sands, deep water oil fields, and natural gas liquids). In 2005, ASPO revised its prediction for a world peak again, from both conventional and non-conventional sources, to the year 2010.cite web
url=http://peakoil.nl/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/asponl_2005_report.pdf
format=PDF
title=World Production and Peaking Outlook
publisher=Peak Oil Netherlands
author=Rembrandt H.E.M. Koppelaar
date=2006-09
language=English
]

Another peak oil proponent Kenneth S. Deffeyes predicted in his book "Beyond Oil - The View From Hubbert's Peak" that global oil production would hit a peak on November 25, 2005.cite web
url=http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/current-events.html
title=Current Events - Join us as we watch the crisis unfolding
date=2007-01-19
publisher=
author=Kenneth S. Deffeyes
language=English
]

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens stated in 2005 that worldwide conventional oil production was very close to peaking [cite web
url=http://www.peakoil.net/BoonPickens.html
title=Boone Pickens Warns of Petroleum Production Peak
publisher=Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
date=2005-05-03
author=
language=English
] . Data from the US Energy Information Administration shows that world production leveled out in 2004, and reached a peak in the third quarter of 2006cite web
url=http://raisethehammer.org/article/643/
title=Yes, We're in Peak Oil Today
publisher=Raise the Hammer
date=2007-10-22
author=Ryan McGreal
language=English
] . An October 2007 retrospective report by the Energy Watch Group concluded that this was the peak of conventional oil production.cite web
url=http://www.energywatchgroup.org/fileadmin/global/pdf/EWG_Oilreport_10-2007.pdf
title=Crude Oil: The Supply Outlook
publisher=Energy Watch Group
date=2007-10
author=Dr. Werner Zittel, Jorg Schindler
language=English
]

Sadad Al Husseini, former head of Saudi Aramco's production and exploration, stated in an October 29, 2007 interview that oil production could remain flat for the next "10 to 15 years", although market and production forces would raise prices by about $12 per year from 2007. Al Husseini also indicated oil production had likely already reached its peak in 2006,cite web
url=http://www.aspo-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=243&Itemid=91
title=The Perfect Storm
author=Dave Cohen
publisher=ASPO-USA
date=October 31, 2007
language=English
] and that assumptions by the IEA and EIA of production increases by OPEC to over 45 MB/day are "quite unrealistic."

Peak oil production—has it happened already?

Matthew Simmons, Chairman of Simmons & Company International, said on October 26, 2006 that global oil production may have peaked in December 2005, though he cautions that further monitoring of production is required to determine if a peak has actually occurred. [cite web
url=http://www.energybulletin.net/21696.html
title=Peak oil - Oct 28
date=2006-10-28
language=English
]

Saudi Arabia's King Abdulla appears to have seen the writing on the wall as early as 1998, telling his subjects, "The oil boom is over and will not return... All of us must get used to a different lifestyle." Since then he has implemented a series of corruption reforms and government programs intended to lower Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil revenues. The royal family was put on notice to end its history of excess and new industries were created to diversify the national economy. [cite web
url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,212732-2,00.html
title=How to Bring Change to the Kingdom
publisher=Time, Inc
date=2002-02-25
author=Scott Macleod
language=English
]

Analysts from Wood Mackenzie contend that maximum production of oil will not occur before 2014. Kate Dourian, Platts' Middle East editor, has a different opinion. "Some sources say half the world's oil has already been produced, whereas Saudi Aramco is saying there is still another trillion barrels out there." She also states that politics has entered the equation. "Some countries are becoming off limits. Major oil companies operating in Venezuela find themselves in a difficult position because of the resource nationalism that's spreading. These countries are now reluctant to share their reserves"cite web
url=http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=495829
title=Non-OPEC peak oil threat receding
publisher=Arabian Business
date=2007-07-06
language=English
]

Commodities trader Raymond Learsy, author of "Over a Barrel: Breaking the Middle East Oil Cartel", contends that OPEC has trained consumers to believe that oil is a much more finite resource than it is. To back his argument, he points to past false alarms and apparent collaboration.cite web
url=http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/learsy200312040900.asp
title=OPEC Follies - Breaking point
publisher=National Review
date=December 4, 2003
language=English
] He also believes that Peak Oil analysts are conspiring with OPEC and the oil companies to create a "fabricated drama of peak oil" in order to drive up oil prices and profits. It is worth noting oil had risen to a little over $30/barrel at that time. A counter-argument was given in the Huffington Post after he and Steve Andrews, co-founder of ASPO, debated on CNBC in June 2007. [cite web
url=http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=15568
title=Rejecting the Real 'Snake Oil'
publisher=Huffington Post
date=2007-06-29
language=English
]

In October 2007, with oil prices in the United States over $90 per barrel, the Energy Watch Group, a German research group founded by MP Hans-Josef Fell, released a report claiming that oil production peaked in 2006 and will decline by several percent annually. The authors predict negative economic effects and social unrest as a result. [cite web
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,,2196435,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront
title=Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study
author=Ashley Seager
date=2007-10-22
publisher=The Guardian
language=English
] cite web |url=http://www.energywatchgroup.org/fileadmin/global/pdf/EWG_Oilreport_10-2007.pdf |title=Crude Oil The Supply Outlook |author=The Energy Watch Group |date=2007-10 |publisher=The Energy Watch Group |language=English]

Some have argued that it will be difficult to see peak oil coming because many international actors including governments, oil producers, and other corporations have some incentives to create uncertainty regarding the amount of oil reserves that remain. This uncertainty can create inaccuracies in market prices because the markets depend on accurate and timely information. These authors suggest increased transparency of oil production in the oil producing states.cite web
url=http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/dt.cms.support.viewStory.cls?cid=59042&sid=5&fid=1
title=Peak Oil: Will we see it coming?
publisher=The Register-Guard
date=February 3, 2008
language=English
]

International Energy Agency reports

The July 2007 International Energy Agency (IEA) Medium-Term Oil Market Report projected a 2% non-OPEC liquids supply growth in 2007-2009, reaching 51.0 mb/d in 2008, receding thereafter as the slate of verifiable investment projects diminishes. They refer to this decline as a plateau. The report expects only a small amount of supply growth from OPEC producers, with 70% of the increase coming from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Angola as security and investment issues continue to impinge on oil exports from Iraq, Nigeria and Venezuela.cite news
url=http://omrpublic.iea.org/
format=PDF
title=Medium-Term Oil Market Report
date=July 2007
publisher=International Energy Agency
language=English
]

The IEA's plateau contention of any future growth is contradicted by some reports- cite web- |url=http://www.energywatchgroup.org/fileadmin/global/pdf/EWG_Oilreport_10-2007.pdf- |title=Crude Oil: The Supply Outlook- |publisher=Energy Watch Group- |date=2007-10- |author=Dr. Werner Zittel, Jorg Schindler- |language=English- ] which state the IEA uses purely economic models for predictions, which rely on the ability to raise production and discovery rates at will. Reserves in general have been falling since 1980 when production eclipsed discoveries (notwithstanding suspicious recalculating of reserves), and several sources believe that Peak Oil occurred sometime in 2006.cite web
url=http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/current-events.html
title=Current Events - Join us as we watch the crisis unfolding
date=2007-01-19
publisher=
author=Kenneth S. Deffeyes
language=English
] cite web
url=http://raisethehammer.org/article/643/
title=Yes, We're in Peak Oil Today
publisher=Raise the Hammer
date=2007-10-22
author=Ryan McGreal
language=English
] cite web
url=http://www.energywatchgroup.org/fileadmin/global/pdf/EWG_Oilreport_10-2007.pdf
title=Crude Oil: The Supply Outlook
publisher=Energy Watch Group
date=2007-10
author=Dr. Werner Zittel, Jorg Schindler
language=English
] cite web
url=http://www.aspo-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=243&Itemid=91
title=The Perfect Storm
author=Dave Cohen
publisher=ASPO-USA
date=October 31, 2007
language=English
]

In its December 14, 2007 report, the IEA stated that world liquids supply in November 2007 had risen again to 86.5 Mb/d, for a predicted 2007 average of 85.7 Mb/d (+1.1% over 2006). The report also predicted 2008 demand to increase to 87.8 Mb/d (+2.5%). Production figures are lower than supply (which is a combination of production, strategic reserves drawdown, and refinery gain). November OPEC production was 31.11 mb/d (down from October), while the non-OPEC production average for 2007 was expected to be 50.2 mb/dcite web
url=http://omrpublic.iea.org/omrarchive/14dec07full.pdf
publisher=International Energy Agency
title=Monthly Report
date=December 2007
] (with an expected peakcite web
url=http://omrpublic.iea.org/omrarchive/MEDJul06.pdf
format=PDF
title=Medium-Term Oil Market Report
date=July 2007
publisher=International Energy Agency
language=English
] of 51.3 in 2008). The report predicted the annual seasonal peak would again happen in December, as a result of new refinery processing capacity, and predict a 2008 demand increase twice that of the 2007 demand increase. They state that there are concerns over supply growth.cite web
url=http://omrpublic.iea.org/omrarchive/14dec07full.pdf
publisher=International Energy Agency
title=Monthly Report
date=December 2007
]

Non-dramatic peak oil

Not all non-'peakists' believe there will be endless abundance of oil. CERA, for example, which counts unconventional sources in reserves while discounting EROEI, believes that global production will eventually follow an “undulating plateau” for one or more decades before declining slowly.cite news
url=http://www.energybulletin.net/22381.html
title=CERA says peak oil theory is faulty
publisher=Energy Bulletin
date=2006-11-14
language=English
] In 2005 the group had predicted that "petroleum supplies will be expanding faster than demand over the next five years."cite news
url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0622/p25s02-wogi.html
title=One energy forecast: Oil supplies grow
publisher=Christian Science Monitor
date=2005-06-22
language=English
]

According to Chevron Chief Technology Officer Don Paul, it is widely believed that peak oil will happen "by 2020". cite news |url=http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/chevron-cto-says-peak-oil-wont-be-a-disaster-229.html |title=Chevron CTO Says Peak Oil Won't Be a Disaster |publisher=Greentech Media |date=2007-10-24]

Some analysts believe that the rising oil prices will instigate a move toward alternative sources of fuel, and that this will take effect long before oil reserves are depleted.

Energy Information Administration and USGS 2000 reports

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects world consumption of oil to increase to convert|98.3|Moilbbl/d|m3/d in 2015 and convert|118|Moilbbl/d|m3/d in 2030.cite web
url=http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/pdf/ieoreftab_4.pdf
publisher=EIA
author=
title=World Oil Consumption by region, Reference Case
date=2006
language=English
] This represents more than a 25% increase in world oil production. A 2004 paper by the Energy Information Administration based on data collected in 2000 disagrees with Hubbert peak theory on several points:cite web
url=http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/feature_articles/2004/worldoilsupply/oilsupply04.html
title=Long-Term World Oil Supply Scenarios - The Future Is Neither as Bleak or Rosy as Some Assert
publisher=EIA
author=John H. Wood, Gary R. Long, David F. Morehouse
date=2004-08-18
language=English
]
* Explicitly incorporates demand into model as well as supply
* Does not assume pre/post-peak symmetry of production levels
* Models pre- and post-peak production with different functions (exponential growth and constant reserves-to-production ratio, respectively)
* Assumes reserve growth, including via technological advancement and exploitation of small reservoirs

The EIA estimates of future oil supply are countered by Sadad Al Husseini, retired VP Exploration of Aramco, who calls it a 'dangerous over-estimate'.cite news |url=http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/business_money/oil+expert+us+overestimates+future+oil+supplies/254293
title=Oil expert: US overestimates future oil supplies
publisher=Channel 4 News
language=English
] Husseini also points out that population growth and the emergence of China and India means oil prices are now going to be structurally higher than they have been.

Colin Campbell argues that the 2000 USGS estimates is methodologically flawed study that has done incalculable damage by misleading international agencies and governments.cite news
url=http://www.oilcrisis.com/news/article.asp?id=3659&ssectionid=0
title=Campbell replies to USGS: Global Petroleum Reserves - A View to the Future
publisher=Oil Crisis
author=
date=2002-12-1
language=English
] Campbell dismisses the notion that the world can seamlessly move to more difficult and expensive sources of oil and gas when the need arises. He argues that oil is in profitable abundance or not there at all, due ultimately to the fact that it is a liquid concentrated by nature in a few places having the right geology. Campbell believes OPEC countries raised their reserves to get higher oil quotas and to avoid internal critique. He also points out that the USGS failed to extrapolate past discovery trends in the world’s mature basins.

No peak oil

Some commentors, such as economist Michael Lynch, believe that the Hubbert Peak theory is flawed and that there is no imminent peak in oil production; such views are sometimes referred to as "cornucopian" by adherents of the Hubbert Peak Theory. Lynch argued in 2004 that production is determined by demand as well as geology, and that fluctuations in oil supply are due to political and economic effects in addition to the physical processes of exploration, discovery and production. [cite web
url=http://www.energyseer.com/NewPessimism.pdf
title=The New Pessimism about Petroleum Resources: Debunking the Hubbert Model (and Hubbert Modelers)
author=Michael C. Lynch
publisher=American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2004
date=2004
language=English
]

Abdullah S. Jum'ah President, Director and CEO of Aramco states that the world has adequate reserves of conventional and non conventional oil sources for more than a century, [http://www.ogj.com/display_article/312081/7/ONART/none/GenIn/1/WEC:-Saudi-Aramco-chief-dismisses-peak-oil-fears/ Aramco chief says world's Oil reserves will last for more than a century.] [cite web|url=http://www.worldenergysource.com/articles/text/jumah_WE_v8n1.cfm|title=www.worldenergysource.com/articles/text/jumah_WE_v8n1.cfm ] though Sadad Al-Husseini, a former Vice President of Aramco who formerly maintained that production would peak in 10-15 years, stated in October 2007 that oil production peaked in 2006.cite web
url=http://www.aspo-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=243&Itemid=91
title=The Perfect Storm
author=Dave Cohen
publisher=ASPO-USA
date=October 31, 2007
language=English
]

OPEC has not historically acknowledged imminent Peak oil concerns. In OPEC's 2007 annual book,cite web
url=http://www.opec.org/library/World%20Oil%20Outlook/pdf/WorldOilOutlook.pdf
title=Oil outlook for the year 2007 by OPEC
] which discusses issues such as future supply position, demand forecasts, and ultimate recoverable reserves (URR), the authors state that the conventional oil resource base is sufficient to satisfy demand increases over the projected period until 2030 at a price of $50-60 per barrel, increasing afterwards to account for inflation. It also states that, comparing the 5% confidence (P5) URR of 3300(sic) billion barrels from the 2000 USGS survey [cite web|url=http://energy.cr.usgs.gov/WEcont/chaps/ES.pdf|title=energy.cr.usgs.gov/WEcont/chaps/ES.pdf |format=PDF] to what appears to be (there is no reference given) the 95% confidence (P95) URR of 1700(sic) billion barrels from the 1980 Rand corporation survey, production after 1980 has been only 1/3rd of reserve additions happening during the same period, which would contrast with Peak oil predictors. However, four other surveys from 1980 give estimates of 2600, 2400, 2280, and convert|2015|Goilbbl|m3. [cite web|url=http://www.searchanddiscovery.net/documents/2007/07032horn/images/horn.pdf|title=www.searchanddiscovery.net/documents/2007/07032horn/images/horn.pdf |format=PDF] Comparing the average of the five 1980 estimates (2219 billion barrels when using the actual Rand estimate of 1800 billion barrels) to the P95 URR from the 2000 USGS survey (2272 billion barrels), production after 1980 has been over 10 times more than reserve additions.

Abiogenesis

The theory that petroleum derives from biogenic processes is held by the overwhelming majority of petroleum geologists, however abiogenic theorists, such as the late professor of astronomy Thomas Gold, assert that oil may be a continually renewing abiotic product, rather than a “fossil fuel” in limited supply. They hypothesize that if abiogenic petroleum sources are found and are quick to replenish, petroleum production will not decline.cite web
url=http://www.financialsense.com/stormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2006/0508.html
title=Debunking Peak Oil
author=J. R. Nyquist
date=2006-05-08
publisher=Financial Sense
language=English
]

One of the main counter arguments to the abiotic theory highlights the biomarkers which have been found in all samples of all the oil and gas accumulations to date. These suggest that oil has a biological origin, and is generated from kerogen by pyrolysis.cite web
url=http://www.searchanddiscovery.net/documents/abstracts/2005research_calgary/abstracts/extended/mello/mello.htm
title=Petroleum: To Be Or Not To Be Abiogenic
author=M. R. Mello and J.M. Moldowan
date=2005
publisher=
language=English
] cite journal
url=http://www.geotimes.org/oct05/feature_abiogenicoil.html
title=Feuding over the origins of fossil fuels
author=Pinsker, Lisa M
date=October 2005
publisher=GeoTimes. Vol. 50, no. 10, pp. 28-32.
language=English
]

Peak oil for individual nations

Peak Oil as a concept applies globally, but it is based on the summation of individual nations experiencing peak oil.In "State of the World 2005", Worldwatch Institute observes that oil production is in decline in 33 of the 48 largest oil-producing countries. [cite book
last=WorldWatch Institute
title=State of the World 2005: Redefining Global Security
date=2005-01-01
publisher=Norton
location=New York
pages=107
isbn=ISBN 0-393-32666-7
language=English
] Other countries have also passed their individual oil production peaks.

The following list shows significant oil-producing nations and their approximate peak oil production years. [Unless otherwise specified, source is [http://abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20060710/ ABC TV's Four Corners] .]
* Australia (disputed): 2004; 2001
* Egypt: 1987 [cite web|url=http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=eg&product=oil&graph=production+consumption|title=www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=eg&product=oil&graph=production+consumption ]
* France: 1988
* Germany: 1966
* Iran: 1974
* India: 1997
* Indonesia: 1991 [cite web|url=http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=id&product=oil&graph=production+consumption|title=www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=id&product=oil&graph=production+consumption ]
* Japan: 1932 (assumed; source does not specify)Fact|date=March 2008
* Libya: 1970
* Mexico: 2003
* New Zealand: 1997 [cite web|url=http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=nz&product=oil&graph=production|title=www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=nz&product=oil&graph=production ]
* Nigeria: 1979
* Norway: 2000 [cite web|url=http://e24.no/olje/article2087528.ece#VG|title=e24.no/olje/article2087528.ece#VG ]
* Oman: 2000 [cite web|url=http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=om&product=oil&graph=production+consumption|title=www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=om&product=oil&graph=production+consumption ]
* Russia: 1987
* Syria: 1996 [cite web|url=http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=sy&product=oil&graph=production+consumption|title=www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=sy&product=oil&graph=production+consumption ]
* Tobago: 1981 [cite web|url=http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=tt&product=oil&graph=production|title=www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=tt&product=oil&graph=production ]
* Venezuela: 1970
* UK: 1999
* USA: 1970 [cite web|url=http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/stb0501.xls|title=www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/stb0501.xls ]

Peak oil production has not been reached in the following nations (these numbers are estimates and subject to revision): [cite web|url=http://abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20060710/|title=abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20060710/ ]
* Iraq: 2018
* Kuwait: 2013
* Saudi Arabia: 2014

In addition, the most recent International Energy Agency and US Energy Information Administration production data show record and rising production in Canada and China.

ee also

*Hubbert's peak
*Petroleum
*Hubbert Linearization

References

External links

* [http://www.TrendLines.ca/scenarios.htm TrendLines' current Peak Oil Depletion Scenarios Chart] A monthly compilation update of 24 recognized estimates of ultimately recoverable reserves (URR), peak year, and peak rate


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