Place your bets! It’s time to play “pick the peak”! Will it be 2010, 2007? How about (gulp!) 2005? Princeton Geology Professor Dr. Kenneth Deffeyes predicted the date of peak oil production to be on Thanksgiving 2005. He recently stated: “I see no reason to retract my Thanksgiving, 2005 prediction”. Is his prediction correct? Unfortunately, we won’t know for certain for a few more years. Peak oil is something that can only be seen in the rear view mirror. That’s because production numbers jump around a bit and it’s hard to see a real trend in the short term numbers. However, it’s worth watching. Interestingly enough, according to the EIA, the highest output so far was in April of 2005 - 84.6 million barrels a day.
Blast from the Past: 1982 saw the publication of “THE GLOBAL 2000 REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT: Entering the Twenty-First Century.” This report was prepared by the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of State, and stated:
“In the long term, the rate of petroleum reserve additions appears to be falling. As a result, engineering considerations indicate that world petroleum production will peak in the 1990-2010 interval at 80-105 million barrels per day, with ultimate resources estimated at 2,100 billion barrels.” Hmm…those numbers look familiar…Thanks Matt (emphasis added)
The Giants: As noted above, you can’t be sure about the timing of the peak until after it has passed. Nevertheless, there may be some early indications of the impending peak, like when the giant fields start to falter. The largest field in the world is Ghawar in
Deep Throat at PEMEX?: Oilcast.com has an interesting interview with a “senior engineer” at PEMEX. Naturally, anything like this must be taken with a grain of salt. Highlights – Cantarell has a depletion rate of at least ten percent for next year and probably it will reach twenty percent within two years. The Saudis are pumping at maximum capacity. Maximum production worldwide will be between 85 and 90 million barrels daily.
Puttin’ EIA predictions to the test: Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just rely on the government to warn us when the peak and adjust for the impending decline in petroleum prodicts? The EIA is a
What the EIA predicated: “…
What actually happened: The North Sea peaked in 1999 at 5.947 mb/d. For the first nine months of 2005 the
EIA: “They say
What actually happened:
mb/d by the middle of this decade, followed by a decline to 2.7
mb/d by 2020." The
What actually happened: the
EIA: “Expected production volumes in
What actually happened: The 12-month moving average of Mexican production peaked six months later in June 2004 at 3.408 mb/d and has been steadily declining ever since.
EIA: …"Argentina is expected to increase its production volumes by at least 100,000 b/d over the next two years, and by the middle of the decade it could possibly become a million barrel/day
What actually happened: Argentina peaked in 1998 at 847,000 b/d average for that year and so far in 2005 it has averaged 712,000 b/d.