oil and gas reserves show signs of peaking

Oil and gas reserves show signs of peaking.  These are two of the first facts I noticed in the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy (one of the big two energy data events of the year).  In this post I will be looking at the stuff BP have not chosen to highlight.

We have covered on this site before the possible peaking of gas reserves, but not oil and gas reserves together.  In 2014 the natural gas reserves increased very slightly by just 0.3%, this is just behind consumption, which increased by 0.4%.  This time the oil reserves have also shown a fall (the first for many years).  Its not huge one and all but invisible on the graph below (left hand graph).

oilandgasdataHowever, both the oil and gas reserves data are starting to look like a trend and that trend is the top of a peak.  Of course the production fall lags a reserve fall.  Peak oil theory suggests a 30 year lag at least on conventional oil.  Things are more complicated than that.  Unconventional oil and gas deplete much faster as we covered in our book.  In addition as the east to extract oil and gas disappear we are using more primary energy to extract the less easy stuff.  Again we cover this in our book.  It means we are using more and more energy to stand still and reserve data is probably much more flattering than it looks (although this also depends on demand).  Its however telling even with oil and gas reserves being flattered by unconventional oil and gas the reserves look like they are peaking.

Neil

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