Posts tagged “hubbert peak”
Over the years, I have often pondered what the world’s ultimate oil production might be before it peaks and inevitably declines. I can recall around 2005-2007 on the website The Oil Drum, that there was a raging debate about just how close the world was to peak oil. Some insisted that it was happening right then. Others, like myself, were in the camp that we still had a few more years and a few more million barrels per day (BPD) of production to go. Those who thought the world would ever reach 100 million BPD were definitely in the minority.
Today I bring you a post from returning guest Todd “Ike” Kiefer who makes an oil production estimate that is far beyond anything I would have personally imagined. He takes on a topic that I have also addressed in the past – the accuracy of some of M. King Hubbert’s estimates. Some will dismiss Kiefer’s estimate out of hand, but I can say from experience that most who dismiss these estimates haven’t done any sort of rigorous estimates to come up with their own estimates. They will just say things like “keep dreaming.” That’s not a very helpful approach. If you disagree with the work, please critique the logic and the numbers.
Previously Mr. Kiefer wrote an article critical of the Navy’s efforts to promote biofuels in a periodical that is sent to Congress and top military leaders. The article was entitled Energy Insecurity: The False Promise of Liquid Biofuels (discussed here). He also wrote guest articles here in the past called EPA’s Sleight of Hand on Cellulosic Fuel Rule Change and A Critical Review of the 2015 Energy Balance for Corn Ethanol. His biography can be found at the end of the article. CONTINUE»
Meet the Doomers It was early 2007, and I was riding high at The Oil Drum. I had written a number of articles on energy policy, and a consistent theme of mine was that biofuels weren’t going to replace our current level of fossil fuel usage. For the most part these essays were very well-received, until I turned my attention toward the topic of oil production in Saudi Arabia. Realize that while there is a diverse readership at TOD, there are quite a few very vocal contributors who are ‘doomers.’ What exactly is a doomer? Doomers believe that peak oil will inevitably lead to a Malthusian collapse of society. Many cheer for stories that support their idea of doom (e.g.,… Continue»
Note: I am traveling to Seattle on Monday, returning Wednesday. No updates during that time, and responses to e-mails will be delayed. Per a story in today’s Austin American Statesman: Is oil at its peak? Experts split A sampling of the opinions cited: ‘As much as you’re uncomfortable with today’s oil prices, these are going to be the good old days. We’re talking about pain here that is unimaginable. There’s no question in my mind that we’re likely to see oil production go into decline somewhere between 2010 and 2012.’ Robert Hirsch, oil expert and author of the Hirsch Report ‘For the past three years, global oil production has remained constant at roughly 85 million barrels per day. OPEC production… Continue»
When I read James Howard Kunstler’s (JHK) book The Long Emergency, it had a profound impact on me. I had been aware for many years that “running out of oil” was a serious matter. After all, I mentioned the challenge of peak oil in my graduate thesis in 1995. But my focus was more on finding a source that could replace oil as it ran out. Reading The Long Emergency was the first time it really hit me that I was missing a lot of key pieces of the picture. The book’s impact wasn’t because I thought his vision of the future was necessarily correct, but it made me think about possibilities. It caused me to look at the suburbs… Continue»
Per the latest International Petroleum Monthly (Excel download), world crude plus condensate production for January was 74,466,000 million bpd. The previous record in May 2005 was 74,298,000 bpd. The number is subject to revision, but I have been firm since 2005 that I did not believe that peak would stand. My feeling remains that we could grow another 3-5 million bpd, but that we will not be able to grow any sort of cushion, hence Peak Lite and continued high prices. If I had to guess – and these are just guesses – I would say 50% probability of peak within 3 years, 70% probability within 5 years, and >90% probability within 10 years.
In what must be an imminent Doomer’s worst nightmare, the IEA has signaled that October 2007 was the highest ever oil production month on record. After reporting that September production came in at 85.1 million barrels per day, the IEA is reporting for October: World oil supply saw a monthly gain of 1.4 mb/d in October, as non-OPEC outages receded and OPEC volumes increased. Recovery in China and Azerbaijan plus rising Russian output boosted non-OPEC supplies. Continued outages in the OECD see non-OPEC supply levelling off in November before resuming growth in December. The previous all-time high in July 2006 – which Doomers had pointed at for over a year now as “Peak Oil in the rearview mirror” – had… Continue»
The eventual decline of oil production in Saudi Arabia will likely have a profound impact on all of our lives. This event will result in energy shortages around the world, and depleting oil supplies will be bid up to higher and higher levels. Poor countries will no longer be able to compete, and they will be the first casualties of oil depletion. The richer countries will bid against each other for the remaining supplies, and if the depletion rate is high enough we will be in for some very tough times. The Saudis say they have plenty of oil. However, there are a lot of skeptics. So, I am very interested in understanding what’s going on inside Saudi Arabia. One… Continue»