Hirsch,R.L., Bezdek,R. and Wendling,R.(2005): Peaking of world oil production: Impacts, mitigation, & risk management. Prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. February 2005.《Hirsch Reportと呼ばれる》


Executive summary
 The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.
 In 2003, the world consumed just under 80 million barrels per day (MM bpd) of oil. U.S. consumption was almost 20 MMbpd, two-thirds of which was in the transportation sector. The U.S. has a fleet of about 210 million automobiles and light trucks (vans, pick-ups, and SUVs). The average age of U.S. automobiles is nine years. Under normal conditions, replacement of only half the automobile fleet will require 10-15 years. The average age of light trucks is seven years. Under normal conditions, replacement of one-half of the stock of light trucks will require 9-14 years. While significant improvements in fuel efficiency are possible in automobiles are light trucks, any affordable approach to upgrading will be inherently time-consuming, requiring more than a decade to achieve significant overall fuel efficiency improvement
 Besides further oil exploration, there are commercial options for increasing world oil supply and for the production of substitute liquid fuels:
1) Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) can marginally increase production from existing reservoirs; one of the largest of the IOR opportunities is Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), which can help moderate oil production declines from reservoirs that are past their peak production:
2) Heavy oil/oil sands represents a large resource of lower grade oils, now primarily produced in Canada and Venezuela; those resource are capable of significant production increases;.
3) Coal liquefaction is a well-established technique for producing clean substitute fuels from the world's abundant coal reserves; and finally,
4) Clean substitute fuels can be produced from remotely located natural gas, but exploitation must compete with the world's growing demand for liquefied natural gas.
However, world-scale contributions from these options will require 10-20 years of accelerated effort.
 Dealing with world oil production peaking will be extremely complex, involve literally trillions of dollars and require many years of intense effort. To explore these complexities, three alternative mitigation scenarios were analyzed:

For this analysis estimates of the possible contributions of each mitigation option were developed, based on an assumed crash program rate of implementation. Our approach was simplified in order to provide transparency and promote understanding. Our estimates are approximate, but the mitigation envelope that results is believed to be directionally indicative of the realities of such an enormous undertaking. The inescapable conclusion is that more than a decade will be required for the collective contributions to produce results that significantly impact world supply and demand for liquid fuels.
 Important observations and conclusions from this study are as follows:

  1. When world oil peaking will occur is not known with certainty. A fundamental problem in predicting oil peaking is the poor quality of and possible political biases in world oil reserves data. Some experts believe peaking may occur soon. This study indicates that “soon” is within 20 years.
  2. The problems associated with world oil production peaking will not be temporary, and past “energy crisis” experience will provide relatively little guidance. The challenge of oil peaking deserves immediate, serious attention, if risks are to be fully understood and mitigation begun on a timely basis.
  3. Oil peaking will create a severe liquid fuels problem for the transportation sector, not an “energy crisis” in the usual sense that term has been used.
  4. Peaking will result in dramatically higher oil prices, which will cause protracted economic hardship in the United States and the world. However, the problems are not insoluble. Timely, aggressive mitigation initiatives addressing both the supply and the demand sides of the issue will be required.
  5. In the developed nations, the problems will be especially serious. In the developing nations peaking problems have the potential to be much worse.
  6. Mitigation will require a minimum of a decade of intense, expensive effort, because the scale of liquid fuels mitigation is inherently extremely large.
  7. While greater end-use efficiency is essential, increased efficiency alone will be neither sufficient nor timely enough to solve the problem. Production of large amounts of substitute liquid fuels will be required. A number of commercial or near-commercial substitute fuel production technologies are currently available for deployment, so the production of vast amounts of substitute liquid fuels is feasible with existing technology.
  8. Intervention by governments will be required, because the economic and social implications oil peaking would otherwise be chaotic. The experiences of the 1970s and 1980s offer important guides as to government actions that are desirable and those that are undesirable, but the process will not be easy.

 Mitigating the peaking of world conventional oil production presents a classic risk management problem:

  1. Mitigation initiated earlier than required may turn out to be premature, if peaking is long delayed.
  2. If peaking is imminent, failure to initiate timely mitigation could be extremely damaging.

 Prudent risk management requires the planning and implementation of mitigation well before peaking. Early mitigation will almost certainly be less expensive than delayed mitigation. A unique aspect of the world oil peaking problem is that its timing is uncertain, because of inadequate and potentially biased reserves data from elsewhere around the world. In addition, the onset of peaking may be obscured by the volatile nature of oil prices. Since the potential economic impact of peaking is immense and the uncertainties relating to all facets of the problem are large, detailed quantitative studies to address the uncertainties and to explore mitigation strategies are a critical need.
 The purpose of this analysis was to identify the critical issues surrounding the occurrence and mitigation of world oil production peaking. We simplified many of the complexities in an effort to provide a transparent analysis. Nevertheless, our study is neither simple nor brief. We recognize that when oil prices escalate dramatically, there will be demand and economic impacts that will alter our simplified assumptions. Consideration of those feedbacks will be a daunting task but one that should be undertaken.
 Our study required that we make a number of assumption and estimates. We well recognize that in-depth analyses may yield different numbers. Nevertheless, this analysis clearly demonstrates that the key to mitigation of world oil production peaking will be the construction a large number of substitute fuel production facilities, coupled to significant increases in transportation fuel efficiency. The time required to mitigate world oil production peaking is measured on a decade time-scale. Related production facility size is large and capital intensive. How and when governments decide to address these challenges is ye to be determined.
 Our focus on existing commercial and near-commercial mitigation technologies illustrates that a number of technologies are currently ready for immediate and extensive implementation. Our analysis was not meant to be limiting. We believe that future research will provide additional mitigation options, some possibly superior to those we considered. Indeed, it would be appropriate to greatly accelerate public and private oil peaking mitigation research. However, the reader must recognize that doing the research required to bring new technologies to commercial readiness takes time under the best of circumstances. Thereafter, more than a decade of intense implementation will be required for world scale impact, because of the inherently large scale of world oil consumption.
 In summary, the problem of the peaking of world conventional oil production is unlike any yet faced by modern industrial society. The challenges and uncertainties need to be much better understood. Technologies exist to mitigate the problem. Timely, aggressive risk management will be essential.』
I. Introduction
II. Peaking of world oil production
 A. Background
 B. Oil reserves
 C. Production peaking
 D. Types of oil
 E. Oil resources
 F. Impact of higher prices and new technology
 G. Projections of the peaking of world oil production
III. Why the transition will be so time consuming
 A. Introduction
 B. Historical U.S. oil consumption patterns
 C. Petroleum in the current U.S. economy
 D. Capital stock characteristics in the largest consuming sectors
 E. Consumption outside the U.S.
 F. Transition conclusions
IV. Lessons and implications from previous oil supply disruptions
 A. Previous oil supply shortfall and disruptions
 B. Difficulties in deriving implications from past experience
 C. How oil supply shortfalls affect the global economy
 D. The U.S. experience
 E. The experience of other countries
  1. The developed (OECD) economies
  2. Developing countries
 F. Implications
  1. The world economy
  2. The United States
V. Learning from the natural gas experience
 A. Introduction
 B. The optimism
 C. Today's perspectives
 D. U.S. natural gas price history
 E. LNG - delayed salvation
 F. The U.S. current natural gas situation
 G. Lessons learned
VI. Mitigation options and issues
 A. Conservation
 B.Improved oil recovery
 C. Heavy oil and oil sands
 D. Gas-to-liquids (GTL)
 E. Liquid fuels from U.S. domestic resources
 F. Fuel switching to electricity
 G. Other fuel switching
 H. Hydrogen
 I. Factors that can cause delay
VII. A world problem
VIII. Three mitigation scenarios
 A. Introduction
 B. Mitigation options
 C. Mitigation phase-in
 D. The use of wedges
 E. criteria for wedge selection
 F. Wedges selected & rejected
 G. Modeling world oil supply/demand
 H. Our wedges
 I. The three scenarios
 J. Observations & conclusions on scenarios
 K. Risk management
IX. Market signals as peaking is approached
X. Wildcards
 A. Upsides - things that might ease the problem of world oil peaking
 B. Downsides - things that might exacerbate the problem of world oil peaking
XI. Summary and concluding remarks
 1. World oil peaking is going to happen
 2. Oil peaking could cost the U.S. economy dearly
 3. Oil peaking presents a unique challenge
 4. The problem is liquid fuels 
 5. Mitigation efforts will require substantial time
 6. Both supply and demand will require attention
 7. It is a matter of risk management
 8. Government intervention will be required
 9. Economic upheaval is not inevitable
 10. More information is needed
Appendix I. Most meaningful EIA oil peaking case
Appendix II. More historical oil crisis considerations
Appendix III. Likely future oil demand
Appendix IV. Rationales for the wedges
 A. Vehicle fuel efficiency
  Saving in the U.S.
  Worldwide savings
 B. Coal liquids
 C. Heavy oils/oil sands
 D. Enhanced oil recovery
 E. Gas-to-liquids
 F. Sum of the wedges
Appendix V. Notes on shale oil and biomass
 A. Oil shale by Gilbert McGurl, NETL
 B. Biofuels by Peter Balash, NETL
Appendix VI. Areas for further study
 1. Economic benefits to the U.S. associated with an aggressive mitigation initiative
 2. Oil peaking risk analysis: cost of premature mitigation versus waiting
 3. U.S. natural gas production as a paradigm for viewing world oil peaking
 4. Potential for non-transportation oil fuel-switching
 5. World coal-to-liquids potential
 6. World heavy oil/oil sands potential
 7. World EOR potential
 8. World GTL potential
 9. World transportation fuel efficiency improvement potential
 10. Impacts of oil prices and technology on U.S. lower 48 oil production
 11. Technological options for coal liquefaction
 12. Performance of oil provinces outside of the U.S.
 13. How the U.S. could again become the world's largest oil producer
 14. Market signals in advance of peaking
 15. Risk of repeating the synthetic fuels experience of 1970s and 1980s
 16. Effects of oil price spikes in causing U.S. recessions

Table II-1. Projections of the Peaking of World Oil Production

Projected Date Source of Projection Background & Reference
2006-2007 Bakhitari, A.M.S. Iranian Oil Executive11
2007-2009 Simmons, M.R. Investment banker12
After 2007 Skrebowski, C. Petroleum journal Editor13
Before 2009 Deffeyes, K.S. Oil company geologist (ret.)14
Before 2010 Goodstein, D. Vice Provost, Cal Tech15
Around 2010 Campbell, C.J. Oil company geologist (ret.)16
After 2010 World Energy Council World Non-Government Org.17
2010-2020 Laherrere, J. Oil company geologist (ret.)18
2016 EIA nominal case DOE analysis/ information19
After 2020 CERA Energy consultants20
2025 or later Shell Major oil company21
No visible peak Lynch, M.C. Energy economist22
11Bakhtiari, A.M.S. "World Oil Production Capacity Model Suggests Output Peak by 2006-07." OGJ. April 26, 2004.
12Simmons, M.R. ASPO Workshop. May 26, 2003.
13Skrebowski, C. "Oil Field Mega Projects - 2004." Petroleum Review. January 2004.
14Deffeyes, K.S. Hubbert's Peak-The Impending World Oil Shortage. Princeton University Press. 2003.
15Goodstein, D. Out of Gas - The End of the Age of Oil. W.W. Norton. 2004
16Campbell, C.J. "Industry Urged to Watch for Regular Oil Production Peaks, Depletion Signals." OGJ. July 14, 2003.
17Drivers of the Energy Scene. World Energy Council. 2003.
18Laherrere, J. Seminar Center of Energy Conversion. Zurich. May 7, 2003
19DOE EIA. "Long Term World Oil Supply." April 18, 2000. See Appendix I for discussion.
20Jackson, P. et al. "Triple Witching Hour for Oil Arrives Early in 2004 - But, As Yet, No Real Witches." CERA Alert. April 7, 2004.
21Davis, G. "Meeting Future Energy Needs." The Bridge. National Academies Press. Summer 2003.
22Lynch, M.C. "Petroleum Resources Pessimism Debunked in Hubbert Model and Hubbert Modelers' Assessment." Oil and Gas Journal, July 14, 2003.

〔Hirsch,R.L., Bezdek,R. and Wendling,R.による(Feb., 2005)Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Managementから〕

H. Our Wedges
In Appendix IV we develop the sizes of the wedges that we believe appropriate for our trends analysis. The categories, delays and 10-year estimated impacts are shown in Figure VIII-3. Once again, bear in mind that these are rough
approximations aimed at illustrating the inherently large scale of mitigation.

Figure VIII-3. Assumed wedges

〔Hirsch,R.L., Bezdek,R. and Wendling,R.(2005): Peaking of world oil production: Impacts, mitigation, & risk management. Prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. February 2005.《Hirsch Reportと呼ばれる》から〕

I. The Three Scenarios
As noted, our three scenarios are benchmarked to the unknown date of peaking:
. Scenario I: Mitigation begins at the time of peaking;
. Scenario II: Mitigation starts 10 years before peaking;
. Scenario III: Mitigation starts 20 years before peaking.
Our mitigation choices then map onto our assumed world oil peaking pattern as shown in Figures VIII-4, 5 and 6.

Figure VIII-4. Mitigation crash programs started at the time of world oil peaking: A significant supply shortfall occurs over the forecast period.

Figure VIII-5. Mitigation crash programs started 10 years before world oil peaking: A moderate supply shortfall occurs after roughly 10 years.

Figure VIII-6. Mitigation crash programs started 20 years before world oil peaking: No supply shortfall occurs during the forecast period.

〔Hirsch,R.L., Bezdek,R. and Wendling,R.(2005): Peaking of world oil production: Impacts, mitigation, & risk management. Prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. February 2005.《Hirsch Reportと呼ばれる》から〕