de Almeida,P. and Silva,P.D.(2009): The peak of oil production - Timings and market recognition. Energy Policy, 37, 1267-1276.


 Energy is essential for present societies. In particular, transportation systems depend on petroleum-based fuels. That world oil production is set to pass a peak is now a reasonably accepted concept, although its date is far from consensual. In this work, we analyze the true expectations of the oil market participants about the future availability of this fundamental energy source. We study the evolution through time of the curves of crude oil futures prices, and we conclude that the market participants, among them the crude oil producers, already expect a near-term peak of oil production. This agrees with many technical predictions for the date of peak production, including our own, that point to peak dates around the end of the present decade. If this scenario is confirmed, it can cause serious social and economical problems because societies will have little time to perform the necessary adjustments.

keywords: Energy markets; Peak oil production; Oil prices』

1. Introduction
2. The peak oil problem
 2.1. Peak oil date prediction
3. Analysis of futures prices
 3.1. Oil markets and futures prices curves
 3.2. Futures prices as a predictor for peak oil
4. Conclusions

Table 1 Peak oil projected dates from several authors.
Date of forecast
PO date

Bartlett 2004-2014 Bartlett(2000)
EIA 2021-2112 Wood and Long(2000)
IEA Beyond 2020 IEA(2000)
2001 Deffeyes 2003-2008 Deffeyes(2001)

Nemesis 2004-2011 Nemesis(2002)
Smith 2011-2016 Smith(2002)

Simmons 2007-2009 Simmons(2003)
Deffeyes Before 2009 Deffeyes(2003)
Campbell Around 2010 Campbell(2003)
World Energy Council After 2010 WEC(2003)
Laherrere 2010-2020 Laherrere(2003)
Shell 2025 or later Davis(2003)
Lynch No visible peak Lynch(2003)

EIA 2021-2112 Wood et al.(2004)
Bakhtiari 2006-2007 Bakhtiari(2004)
Skrebowaki After 2007 Skrebowski(2004)
Goodstein Before 2010 Goodstein(2004)
CERA After 2020 Jackson and Esser(2004)
2005 Koppelaar After 2010 Koppelaar(2005)
2006 Skrebowski After 2010 Skrebowski(2006)

Smith 2011 Smith(2006)
Koppelaar After 2012 Koppelaar(2006)
IEA After 2030 IEA(2006)
CERA 2035 Jackson(2006)

Robelius 2008-2018 Rebelius(2007)
Koppelaar 2015 Koppelaar(2007)
Laherrere About 2015 Laherrere(2007)

CERA After 2017 CERA(2008)
Shell 2020 or later Shell(2008)