86. PEAK OIL IS DEAD
My title is tongue in cheek, but it's basically true. The early peak chicken littles (Campbell, Deffeyes, Simmons, Boone Pickens, Ruppert, Heinberg, "Olduvai" Duncan, Savinar etc. -- See #51) have been conclusively discredited. Why? Because oil is definitely not going to peak before 2010 (and probably not before 2015-2020, more on this later -- JD).
This fact is proven in a report called "Oil Production Outlook 2005-2040" by an ambitious amateur researcher from the Netherlands named Rembrandt H. E. M. Koppelaar. He describes his method as follows:
Which does not help to the clarity of the peaking date is the way most institutes and geologist model the peak of oil production. Central to their approach is the estimated total amount of oil that will ever be extracted (I.E. Estimated Ultimate Recovery). In the present this figure varies between 1850 and 4000 billion barrels. Most estimates lie around 2500 billion barrels. Because the total amount of oil that will ever be extracted is a guesstimate a lot of the predictions done in the past by all kinds of experts were totally wrong. Too much factors are involved and the arguments from all sides vary widely.Mr. Koppelaar's idea is simple: instead of using the usual Hubbert curve voodoo to predict the peak, he has combed the Internet for information on new projects scheduled to come on stream. He extrapolates the current depletion of nations beyond their peak, and adds in the scheduled new flows to obtain the future production numbers for 2005-2010. His conclusion:
A better way to estimate to peak is to look at it from an oil production perspective. How much oil are we producing now? Which part of production is in decline? What is the amount of new oil production is coming online? Because of the more certain nature of these figures a probable estimate for the near future can be obtained.
The production figures from 1996 to 2004 are well documented in the Oil, Gas, Coal and Electricity Quarterly Statistics from the International Energy Agency which is updated every quarter. The countries that have already peaked can be read in these figures. Future production can be estimated by the decline rates of current fields and the new oil projects coming online. New projects are well documented because of the huge costs, leading times and multiple parties involved. These figures can be obtained from various sources.Source (P. 4-5)
A total gross capacity of 19.94 million barrels per day is expected to be added to the world production stream between 2005 and 2010. Due to declining oil production a net capacity of 9.5 million barrels per day is expected to be added to the world production stream between 2005 and 2010. [...] Conclusion: It is very unlikely that a peak of world oil production occurs before 2010. (Source: same as above, P. 22)The graph looks like this (click on the image for a clearer picture):
Figure 2 – World liquids production outlook 2005-2010
What does this mean? It means:
a) Colin Campbell has demonstrated his incompetence, yet again.
b) Boone Pickens (who can afford to pay for data like that Koppelaar collected, only much more detailed and better) is a profiteering sack of shit. He goes on TV, saying "Never again will we pump more than 82 million barrels", when he knows from the numbers that that isn't true. He's a peak oiler because every time he opens his mouth about peak oil, his bank account shoots up. (See #12.)
c) The early peakers have done a great disservice to the cause of peak oil awareness. The only thing the public is going to remember is a bunch of squealing chicken littles whose predictions turned out wrong. Why, if peak oil is so critical, didn't Deffeyes or Campbell put in the effort to do what Koppelaar has done? They were totally irresponsible as scientists -- failing to make even the most minimal, cursory checks of the accuracy of their predictions. Because of their irresponsibility and laziness, they have given the best ammunition possible to the enemies of peak oil awareness, i.e. "Why should we listen to you idiots? You predicted the peak, and you were WRONG. Har!"
Note: Those interested in learning more about this kind of analysis should go to the following thread at The Oil Drum: A little more on CERA. Rembrandt is posting there.