Table of contents
It is widely known that oil, like other fossil fuels, is a finite resource. The question when oil will be depleted has been asked since the oil age began. What is less known, however, is that before oil is exhausted, it will reach a production peak. This peak can be described as the highest production level in the history of oil after which a structural decline will commence. It is important to determine the period in which this peaking will occur, in order to implement appropriate mitigating measurements. Predicting the exact timing of the peak is a difficult task however, due to a lack of reliable data.
There are large uncertainties regarding reserve data. In the 1980's OPEC stated an increase of approximately 300 billion barrels in their reserves within a few years. During this time no significant discoveries were made. It is still unclear what the true amount of reserves in OPEC countries are. The bigger problem is that there is no worldwide accepted method to account for oil reserves in place, various regions account their reserves in a different way. On top of that, oil companies, whether national or commercial, generally have a financial or political incentive to overstate the amount of oil reserves they possess.
Because of the uncertainty regarding the amount of worldwide reserves, oil production & peaking projections differ widely. We probably will never know the true amount of worldwide reserves. Therefore, it is recommended that the discussion of world oil peaking is not primarily based on oil reserves but shifts to five different areas.
This report contains as estimate of these five factors influencing
oil production. By approaching the peaking issue in two parts.
First of all, by creating a detailed oil production outlook between
2005 and 2010 using oil projects announced by oil companies and
estimating a decline rate for individual oil producing countries.
secondly by extrapolating on the data from this production outlook
and using well-documented trends in oil production.
The central conclusion made from our research is that the production of world liquids (all oil and oil equivalent resources) will approximately peak around 2012. Liquids production is expected to form a “plateau” for approximately 6 years starting around 2010. This peak could arrive earlier if our estimate for world decline rates proves to be too low. It also could arrive later, around 2017, if oil companies succeed in improving the recovery rate of oil due to technological improvements.
This conclusion is largely based on:
Since future predictions are always quite uncertain, this
world oil production & peaking outlook is not guaranteed to
accurate. However, this should not be seen as a reason to not
take peak oil issue seriously.
Current government policies in the Netherlands and elsewhere are based on the assumption of a continued access to relatively inexpensive fossil fuels. If this assumption turns out not to be true anymore, then society will face serious difficulties, as practically no precautions have been taken to anticipate such a situation. Of the various oil production outlooks, most government agencies seem to take into account only the optimistic ones, without a proper understanding of the shortcomings and implicit assumptions under which these forecasts were made (as is explained in Chapter 2). By refusing to take pessimistic projections (like ASPO, PFC Energy, Douglas Westwood) into account, even as potential scenarios, policy makers make huge, ill-supported and potentially dangerous assumptions.
For an important subject as future energy supplies, one would expect the involved agencies to carefully examine the merits of each relevant forecast. The fact that the optimistic scenarios of, for instance, the IEA are cheerfully and uncritically accepted resembles in our view a serious lack of critical thinking among various well-established agencies.
Other important conclusions of this report include:
It is expected that Non-OPEC liquids production will peak and plateau around 2008.
The maximum average production growth in the period 2005-2010 rests at approximately 1.5％, a far lower level the the years 2003 (3.51％) and 2004 (4.16％). This means oil production growth levels like those in 2003 and 2004 will not be able to continue.
Because of little to zero spare capacity on the market, any oil disruption due to political, economical or natural events will have a profound effect on oil prices. A global oil shock owing to rising oil prices is likely in the period 2005-2010. At the very least, the current tightness in the international oil market will persevere. After 2010, continued price increases will become a structural problem.』
Glossary of terms
1) Introduction - peaking of world oil production
2) The four peak oil estimation methodologies
The Hubbert methodology
The IEA prediction based on the USGS statistical methodology
The economical/market based methodology
The oil projects and decline methodology
The supply forecast for the period 2005-2010
The extrapolated oil production outlook (2010 and beyond)
4) World production outlook “Ideal World” 2005-2010
5) World production outlook “Turbulent world” 2005-2010
6) Oil project analysis
7) Peak Oil Netherlands oil production & peaking outlook
The amount of production from future discoveries
Production from discovered fields not yet on-stream
Increased oil production due to reserve growth
Unconventional oil production
8) A sum of five parts - When will world oil production peak?
10) Summary of arguments and conclusions
11) Implications of a world oil production peak
Appendix A - Datasets used in the production model
Appendix B - Comparison of different oil project reports
Appendix C - Specific country data
J) United Arabic Emirates
9) Trinidad & Tobago
11) United Kingdom
20) Congo Brazzaville
Appendix D - Oil projects data
|GB||giga barrel or 1000 million barrels or one billion barrels|
|Mb/d||million barrels per day|
|b/d||barrels per day, also noted in industry terms as bbl/d which refers to blue barrel per day. A term originating from the early days of the American oil industry were they used to work with barrels in a blue color.|
|boe/d||barrels of oil equivalents per day|
energy return on energy invested. The extraction, transport and
processing of any fuel produced uses energy. EROI indicates the
net energy balance for the process of producing a fuel/enegy.
Summarized by M.K.Hubbert as:
“There is a different and more fundamental cost that is independent of the monetary price. That is the energy cost of exploration and production. So long as oil is used as a source of energy, when the energy costs of recovering a barrel of oil becomes greater than the energy content of the oil, production will cease no matter what the monetary price may be”
|API gravity||American Petroleum Institute gravity, a term that indicates the heaviness and quality of oil. A higher gravity number indicates kighter oil and therefore a better quality.|
|EUR or URR||estimated ultimate oil recovery/ultimately recoverable resources. Those quantities of petroleum which are estimated, on a given date, to be potentially recoverable, plus those quantities which already have been produced at that time.|
|Olimulsion||extra heavy oil from the Orinoco belt in Venezuela|
|Proved resserves||reserves of petroleum in place that can be estimated with a reasonable certainty by analysis of geological and engineering data. They must be commercially recoverable at current oil prices from known reservoirs, with current operating methods and current government regulations. Proved reserves are categolized as developed or undeveloped.|
|Probable reserves||reserves of petroleum in place that are less likely to be recoverable concluded from analysis of geological and engineering data. In this context, when probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 50％ probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the sum of estimated proved plus probable reserves.|
|Possible reserves||unproved reserves that are less likely to be recoverable than probable reserves concluded from analyss of geological and engineering data. In this context, when probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 10％ probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the sum of estimated prived plus probable plus possible reserves.|
|Montte Carlo simulation||a type of stochastic mathematical simulation, which randomly samples variables. These variables can be used as distributions to simulate for example recoverable petroleum volumes.|
|Oil initially in place||the quantity of petroleum that is estimated, on a given date, to be contained in known accumulations, plus the quantities already produced there from.|
|Liquids||oil and oil equivalent resources, this includes light, medium and heavy oil, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), tar sands or oil sands, oil shale, deepwater oil and polar oil.|
|Oil projects||projects that add oil production either by bringing new fields into production or by inv\creasing production due to the implementation of technology.|
|Depletion||the decline in oil reserves in a given year due to production.|
|Depletion rate||the rate at which reserves are declining in a given year|
|Decline||the decrease in production in a given year|
|Type I decline||the decline of production in an oil field that comes from wells in the field. This decline can be offset by bringing new wells on-stream or by increasing production from other existing wells in the field.|
|Type II decline||the decline of production in an oil field that cannot to be offset by placing new wells or by increasing production from other existing wells in the field. This decline has to be oddset with a production increase in another field or region.|
|Type III decline||the decline of production in an entire country. This decline has to be offset with a production increase in another country.|
|Recovery rate||the amount of oil that can be extracted out of the ground at current oil prices from known reservoirs, with current operatimg methods, as a percentage of the total amount of oil present in the field.|
Figure 28 - World liquids production outlook “Regular” 2005-2100
Figure 29 - World liquids production outlook “Technological” 2005-2100
Figure 30 - World liquids production outlook “Disruption & Delay” 2005-2100
〔Koppelaar,R.H.E.M.(2005)：World Oil Production & Peaking Outlook. Peak Oil Netherlands Foundation, 76p.から〕