John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Saturday, June 10, 2006
  Peak Oil: Energy prices dominate G8 agenda
There is an organisation called the Association for the Study of Peak Oil. They produce a monthly newsletter.

This month's newsletter looks at oil production from Saudi Arabia - which is the largest producer in the world. The real evidence is that Saudi Arabia may now have passed the year of peak production. ASPO's base case prediction for the peak of production of regular oil is 2005.

Venezuela has bought 100,000 barrells of oil a day from Russia because it (notwithstanding the fact that it is the 5th largest producer) cannot produce the oil it has promised to produce.

Venezuela has a lot of Heavy Oil, but this contract shows that Heavy Oil is not a good solution to a shortage of regular oil. Oil from gas and deepwater oil will give the chance of increased production to 2010, but regular oil appears by a number of sources of evidence to have now peaked.
 
Comments:
Peak oil and whether or not we are actually there already is very important topic and I'm frequently amazed by how little coverage it gets.

The government wrote in a Foreign and Commonwealth Office report March this year:

Existing conventional oil reserves are projected to meet global demand until 2030, but investment of around £10 trillion (US$17 trillion) will be needed to turn resources in the ground into supplies for consumers.

Two questions this raises - is the £10 trillion investment actually being made and what is the plan for 2031, after all 25 years isn't a very long time in the global energy industry!

Their comment also doesn't address the following facts:

Many of the world's major oil producing countries have already peaked (America, Norway, Venezuela, UK, Indonesia etc.) and are in decline leaving a shrinking number of producers to not only provide for demand growth but also to replace the lost production from the growing number of post-peak countries.

Global extraction of light, sweet oil has already peaked by 2004 (link)

Global extraction by the oil majors is already in decline including specifically Chevron, Exxon, Shell and Total (link, link)

And the oil companies themselves are starting to make some interesting noises with Chevron recently running a campaign based around this statement "The era of easy oil is over" and Total's head of exploration Christophe de Margerie, telling The Times in April that "120 million barrels per day will never be reached, never" adding "The world lacks the means to produce enough oil to meet rising projections of demand for fuel over the next decade." (link) Forget 2030, he's talking about the next decade.
 
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