peak oil again

Back to peak oil, a few weeks ago I came across this link somewhere.  In it the person called Patrick from Belgium takes you through the steps to calculate peak oil for yourselves using a spreadsheet.  This looked too good to miss so I thought I would give it ago.  The link above describes the steps.  I followed these and ended up with two graphs shown below.  Graph a) shows the total global oil production in numbered quarters between the dates given.  The second graph has one difference US oil production is removed.  This completely alters the result with oil production on a firm downward trend.

peak oil graphs

At the moment there is not that much talk about peak oil, but a lot about Saudi America. Even the transition movement seems a bit quieter about it.  We think there is lot of hype about shale oil, there being a number of problems with its extraction and how fast the wells deplete.   There is no doubt at the moment oil production globally is increasing and this is driven by US oil production. The question is will this last?  As we wrote in our book about the shale oil hype;

However, even if this is true, this is forecast as being for an extraordinarily short period of time, only for 5 years from 2020-2025. A related finding is that of the US becoming a net oil exporter in 2030. This is predicated on “new fuel-efficiency measures in transport

Has global oil production peaked?  Conventional oil – almost certainly.  All the easy stuff has gone.  There are number of alternative scenarios based around unconventional oil.  The first is that oil production increases due to US shale oil for a number of years and then as US production declines we reach peak oil, in probably less than 10 years.  The second is that other countries join in with shale oil and peak oil is set back again. All this time conventional fields are in decline and unconventional oil has to keep pace with both that and increasing demand.  Either way the oil price looks like staying high, you might notice that for all this increase over the last 35 quarters or so there has been no significant drop in the oil price.


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