Greene,D.L., Hopson,J.L. and Li,J.(2003): Running out of and into oil: Analyzing global oil depletion and transition through 2050. ORNL/TM-2003/259, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, October.


List of figures
List of tables

 This report presents a risk analysis of world conventional oil resource production, depletion, expansion, and a possible transition to unconventional oil resources such as oil sands, heavy oil and shale oil over the period 2000 to 2050. Risk analysis uses Monte Carlo simulation methods to produce a probability distribution of outcomes rather than a single value. Probability distributions are produced for the year in which conventional oil production peaks for the world as a whole and the year of peak production from regions outside the Middle East. Recent estimates of world oil resources by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the World Energy Council (WEC) and Dr. C. Campbell provide alternative views of the extent of ultimate world oil resources. A model of oil resource depletion and expansion for twelve world regions is combined with a market equilibrium model of conventional and unconventional oil supply and demand to create a World Energy Scenarios Model (WESM). the model does not make use of Hubbert curves nut instead relies on target reserve-to-production ratios to determine when regional output will begin to decline. The authors believe that their analysis has a bias toward optimism about oil resource availability because it does not attempt to incorporate political or environmental constraints on production, nor does it explicitly include geologic constraints on production rates. Global energy scenarios created by IIASA and WEC provide the context for the risk analysis. Key variables such as the quantity of undiscovered oil and rates of technological progress are treated as probability distributions, rather than constants. Analyses based on the USGS and IIASA resource assessments indicate that conventional oil production outside the Middle East is likely to peak sometimes between 2010 and 2030. The most important determinants of the date are the quantity of undiscovered oil, the rate at which unconventional oil production can be expanded, and the rate of growth of reserves and enhanced recovery. Analysis based on data produced by Campbell indicates that the peak of non-Middle East production will occur before 2010. For total world conventional oil production, the results indicate a peak somewhere between 2020 and 2050. Key determinants of the peak in world oil production are the rate at which the Middle East region expands its output and the minimum reserves-to-production ratios producers will tolerate. Once world conventional oil production peaks, first oil sands and heavy oil from Canada, Venezuela and Russia, and later some other source such as shale oil from the United States must expand if total world oil consumption is to continue to increase. Alternative sources of liquid hydrocarbon fuels, such as coal or natural gas are also possible resources but not considered in this analysis nor is the possibility of transition to a hydrogen economy. These limitations were adopted to simplify the transition analysis. Inspection of the paths of conventional oil production indicates that even if world oil production does not peak before 2020, output of conventional oil is likely to increase at a substantially slower rate after that date. The implication is that there will have to be increased production of unconventional oil after that date if world petroleum consumption is to grow.』

1. Introduction
2. World oil resource estimates
 2.1. What is oil?
 2.2. Are oil resources increasing?
 2.3. How much unconventional oil is there?
  2.3.1. Heavy oil and bitumen (tar or oil sands)
  2.3.2. Shale oil
 2.4. The pessimistic viewpoint
 2.5. Resource estimates used in this study
3. Modeling oil depletion
 3.1. Resource accounting
  3.1.1. Accounting for conventional oil depletion
  3.1.2. The transition to unconventional oil
 3.2. World oil market model: long-run dynamics
  3.2.1. Simulating a transition to unconventional oil
4. Scenarios of world energy supply and demand
 4.1. Descriptions of scenarios
 4.2. Risk analyses and key parameters
  4.2.1. Growth rate of Middle East production
  4.2.2. Technological change affecting cost
  4.2.3. Base year production costs of conventional and unconventional oil
  4.2.4. Reserve growth rates
  4.2.5. Speculative resource availability
  4.2.6. Target reserves-to-production (R/P) ratio
  4.2.7. Conversion of unconventional resources to reserves
  4.2.8. Supply and demand parameters
5. Results
 5.1. Peaking of conventional oil production
 5.2. Sensitivities of peaking dates to key parameters
  5.2.1. Low growth scenario
  5.2.2. High growth scenario
 5.3. Transitions to unconventional oil
  5.3.1. The reference scenario at median parameter values
  5.3.2. Low and high energy growth scenarios
  5.3.3. Potential implications for OPEC's market share
  5.3.4. Where might the unconventional oil come from?
6. Conclusions
 Is the peaking of conventional oil production imminent?
 Will the transition be rapid or slow?
 Will a transition to unconventional oil weaken OPEC's market power?
 Areas for future Research
Appendix A Description of WESM model
 A1. Overview
  A1.1 Purpose
  A1.2 Function
  A1.3 Structure
  A1.4 Implementation
 A2. Scenario generator
 A3. Resource accounting
  A3.1 Resource categories
  A3.2 Resource stocks and flows
   Category I, Proved reserves
   Category III, Additional speculative resources
   Category IV, Enhanced recovery/reserves growth
   Categories V and VI, Unconventional recoverable reserves and resources
  A3.3 Depletion-based production cost estimation
   Long-run costs of producing conventional and unconventional oil
 A4. Oil market module
  Simulating a transition to unconventional oil
 A5. North American/conversion module
  A5.1 Reconciling world energy scenario to Champagne Model results
  A5.2 International energy outlook - WESM calibration
   A5.2.1 Matching regions and energy types
   A5.2.2 Inferring final energy and production data from primary energy
   A5.2.3 Splined forecasts
 A6. Procedure for executing a model run
  A6.1 Selecting a WEC-IIASA scenario
  A6.2 Modifying a scenario
  A6.3 Inputting Champagne Model cases
  A6.4 Calibrating a scenario to create a case
  A6.5 Generating an output report
 A7. Conclusions
Appendix B. Oil resource estimates based on Campbell
 B1. Regular oil reserves (Category I)
 B2. Regular oil “yet to find/new fields” and non-regular oil (Category II)
 B3. “Non-regular” oil
 B4. Heavy oil (Category V & VI)
 B5. Conversion factors
Appendix C. Allocation of USGS based unconventional resource estimates to Categories V and VI

Figure 19

Figure 20

Figure 21

Figure 23

Figure 25

Figure 26

Figure 27