Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Peak Oil as Soon as 2014

This item is important mostly because it is coming out of Kuwait who is central to OPEC and is not known for peak oil enthusiasm.  Any models available to date put the peak back in 2008 and the present reality has been flat with a lot of adjustment going on.

Rising Canadian and yes rising American production is allowing the US market to accept reduction in Mexican deliveries and that from other foreign sources.  The onset of advanced horizontal production in Western Canada and the USA will accelerate this trend as THAI production kicks in on the oilsands.  Given even five years of concerted effort, it is plausible that North America will become sharply less vulnerable to foreign oil.

In the event, this foreign oil will be badly needed in India and China.

Of course, I see a day in which North America will be able to exit the oil business altogether in terms of fuel.  The advent of a conversion to electrical vehicles is almost a breakthrough away and several are onto it.  It delivered the conversion will be practically overnight and our oil infrastructure will be as quickly abandoned.

In the meantime, if the magical contracts written with Iraq are not dreaming then we will have several millions of barrels of fresh production fed into the market over the same five years.  That might just be enough to stave of an untimely collapse in supply and insane pricing. 

As I have already posted, unless supply has way more flexibility than has ever proved possible in the oil business, present declines has made it all vulnerable to single surprise declines like the one that wiped out Cantrell so swiftly.  Imagine the Saudi field suddenly entering terminal decline.

Until recently, the promise there was that if needed a million barrels per day could be added.  No more and any real problem will be trying at best.

World Crude Oil Production May Peak A Decade Earlier Than Some Predict

by Staff Writers

Safat, Kuwait (SPX) Mar 15, 2010

In a finding that may speed efforts to conserve oil and intensify the search for alternative fuel sources, scientists in Kuwait predict that world conventional crude oil production will peak in 2014 - almost a decade earlier than some other predictions.

Their study is in ACS' Energy and Fuels, a bi-monthly journal.

Ibrahim Nashawi and colleagues point out that rapid growth in global oil consumption has sparked a growing interest in predicting "peak oil" - the point where oil production reaches a maximum and then declines. Scientists have developed several models to forecast this point, and some put the date at 2020 or later.

One of the most famous forecast models, called the Hubbert model, accurately predicted that oil production would peak in the United States in 1970.

The model has since gained in popularity and has been used to forecast oil production worldwide. However, recent studies show that the model is insufficient to account for more complex oil production cycles of some countries. Those cycles can be heavily influenced by technology changes, politics, and other factors, the scientists say.

The new study describe development of a new version of the Hubbert model that accounts for these individual production trends to provide a more realistic and accurate oil production forecast. Using the new model, the scientists evaluated the oil production trends of 47 major oil-producing countries, which supply most of the world's conventional crude oil.

They estimated that worldwide conventional crude oil production will peak in 2014, years earlier than anticipated. The scientists also showed that the world's oil reserves are being depleted at a rate of 2.1 percent a year. The new model could help inform energy-related decisions and public policy debate, they suggest.

1 comment:

acadie1755 said...

- 1885, U.S. Geological Survey: "Little or no chance for oil in California."
- 1891, U.S. Geological Survey: "Little or no chance for oil in Kansas and Texas"
- 1914, U.S. Bureau of Mines: Total future production limit of 5.7 billion barrels of oil, at most a 10-year supply remaining.
- 1939, Department of the Interior: Oil reserves in the United States to be exhausted in 13 years.
- 1951, Department of the Interior, Oil and Gas Division: Oil reserves in the United States to be exhausted in 13 years.
Are we heading for peak oil because of the lack of oil or because of the lack of places we are allowed to drill/explore?