free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 122. COLIN CAMPBELL: WRONG AGAIN

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

122. COLIN CAMPBELL: WRONG AGAIN

The pope of peak oil, Colin Campbell, is legendary for a long string of incorrect predictions of the peak oil date. For example, as we saw in #53, his 1991 prediction called for oil to peak in the early 90s at a level of 60mbd, and decline to about 50mbd by 2005, and then to about 40mbd by 2010. In fact, we are currently producing about 84mbd in 2005. If you want all the evidence on Campbell's piss-poor track record, see CRYING WOLF: Warnings about oil supply, by Michael Lynch.

True to form, ASPO yesterday released the October 2005 Newsletter(pdf), in which Colin Campbell changed his peak oil forecast from 2007 to 2010. This is the fourth time Campbell has extended his forecast date, and he is now predicting world oil production of 85mbd in 2010 -- more than twice the 40mbd he predicted in 1991.

Let's face it: Colin Campbell's credibility is in the toilet. His methods are totally bogus, as Lynch has so frequently pointed out. This is a clear vindication of the open, verifiable methods of Rembrandt Koppelaar (see #86), as opposed to the opaque methods of ASPO which claims to have a "secret" database underlying its predictions, although no one outside of ASPO has ever seen it. (Personally, I think they're lying, and don't even have a database, but that's just my opinion.) It also creates a bit of a conflict within the peak movement because Deffeyes is still calling (ridiculously) for a peak on Thanksgiving Day 2005.

So what happened? Here's Campbell's explanation:
A detailed revision of the deepwater evaluation has been made on the basis of new information covering the world’s fields, which have been modeled individually. The new evaluation suggests an Ultimate recovery of about 52 Gb with a peak of 12 Mb/d in 2011, up from 3.5 Mb/d in 2005. This has an impact on the overall model, as illustrated in the Table on Page 2, shifting the peak of All Liquids from 2007 to 2010. Anyone familiar with this forecasting will know of the many uncertainties and difficulties, but it seems best to advance step by step reporting progress as it occurs, remembering always that it is subject to change.Source
Campbell blew it on the deepwater. He probably figured it out after reading Koppelaar. It turns out that West Africa is the new "oil Dorado":
The whole of the coastal sweep of West Africa has become an “oil Dorado”. Sao Tomé, in the Gulf of Guinea and the second smallest country in Africa, is just one example of the region’s potential. Off the coast of this tiny nation lies 24 billion barrels of black gold and some oil industry experts have even described it as a second Kuwait. Oil interests from across the world have now flocked to the nation.Source
24 billion barrels is another North Sea. And here doomers have been telling us there aren't anymore big finds -- that Prudhoe Bay and the North Sea were the last of it.

Yup, Lynch has been vindicated once again, and the doomers have a lot of egg on their face over this one. Oh well. They never let their idiocy get in the way before. Guess we'll just have to put off euthanizing the retarded for a few years (see #29.)

Oh yeah... and I hope all those survival rations you hoarded after reading LATOC will keep until 2010. You might want to check the expiration dates. LOL.

28 Comments:

At Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 6:42:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

24 billion puts the peak by 12 billion, or about what the world consumes in 5 months. Wow we're saved. Thank god there's people like you exposing the truth JD. Where would we be without you?

 
At Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 9:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger Dukat- said...

Thats good news, I'd rather the world peak later than ealier, but the world will peak at some point. In the regards to food expiration dates, it's very good practice to keep a store of food to offset any future inflation.

 
At Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 11:35:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean Laherrere has been predicting a 2015 all liquids peak for a number of years now. Campbell is just a perrenial pessimist. 2015 is much too far away for the chicken littles who need prophecies of imminent doom to get through their days.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 3:35:00 AM PDT, Blogger Big Gav said...

JD - you were a little bit selective in your quote from my blog - the same text from that German documentary says that US oil will completely run out within 20 years.

Obviously that isn't true either, but I think we all need to be a little bit careful about just picking some random fact and turning it into proof (or disproof) of peak oil.

I think it would be fair to say that no-one really knows when the peak will occur - as the data as to how much remains is still too murky.

Greater transparency is the key to this issue but that may never happen until after the peak has passed.

Given the uncertainty (and all the externalities caused by hydrocarbon consumption) wouldn't it be wise to start transitioning our economies away from oil dependence ? At the very least it would make a lot of soldiers grateful to be able to leave the middle east...

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 7:09:00 AM PDT, Blogger Silent E said...

Laherrere also admits that part of the reason he and Campbell were so far off in their or is that they goofed: they only predicted for conventional crude oils, and somehow overlooked the fact that current production is measured for "All Liquids" - i.e., "crude" production is only around 73 mbd, but total liquids production is at 85 mbd.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 11:20:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see how many of the Doomers will waste another 5 years of their life looking at every news story and waiting for imminent collapse, only for ASPO to move the Peak back to 2015, then 2020.

Then just as everyone agrees on a new data then a new energy source will be found related to hot air around PO predictions.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 11:37:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's almost like these people don't know any way to live other than going "OMGS WE R TEH DOOMED". From what I've seen on peakoil.com, a lot of POers (by no means all, though) are unabashed extreme cynics who believe that something is going to destroy civilization no matter what.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 11:55:00 AM PDT, Anonymous popmonkey said...

JD, this is good news and shows that technology will allow us to find more oil giving us more time to find alternatives.

however, i don't agree with your tone here bashing Cambell who is a big enough guy to admit he was wrong.

also, the bashing attitude makes people think "ah, all those guys are just wrong, i'm getting back into my SUV".

i know you're probably getting tired of people saying that, but lets stay moderate here. i think it's GREAT that Cambell is wrong AND is the one to admit it! isn't that what we want? we want to be worried, but have a little hope as well.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 2:01:00 PM PDT, Anonymous clv101 said...

Hang on a minute, JD is again being selective with his quoting. In Sept 2002 Campbell was predicting 2010 as the all liquids peak.
Sept02 Newsletter

Campbell stood by this 2010 prediction through to early 2004 when he dropped it to 2007. So all that's happened is backtracked to a previous prediction. Given how unreliable the data is I don’t see these kinds of shifts as significant.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 2:33:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears to me that this is exactly what we would expect if Campbell is telling the truth about his database; as new data comes in, he uploads it, performs new calculations based on it. That he changes the date by a few years based on new data is the mark of a scientist trying to do his job, not a fanatic.

On the other hand, the whole tone of this site is rather schizophrenic. Peak oil is real and happening soon and we need to do something, but at the same time it's no big deal and everyone should just relax and we'll all figure it out. What nonsense! If the Peak is 2010, then we're still fairly screwed.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 8:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

JD - you were a little bit selective in your quote from my blog - the same text from that German documentary says that US oil will completely run out within 20 years.
Obviously that isn't true either, but I think we all need to be a little bit careful about just picking some random fact and turning it into proof (or disproof) of peak oil.

Campbell's latest mistake doesn't prove or disprove peak oil. It proves, for the fourth time, that there is something wrong with Campbell's methods. I'm criticizing Colin Campbell, not the reality of peak oil.

I think it would be fair to say that no-one really knows when the peak will occur - as the data as to how much remains is still too murky.
Right. Therefore Colin Campbell doesn't know when the peak will occur. He's claiming to know something he can't know -- the classic sign of a pseudo-scientist.

Given the uncertainty (and all the externalities caused by hydrocarbon consumption) wouldn't it be wise to start transitioning our economies away from oil dependence ?
Big Gav, this site has been called "virulently anti-car" and is waging a non-stop campaign against private automobiles and their supporters. I'm hardly a supporter of oil dependence.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 9:08:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Laherrere also admits that part of the reason he and Campbell were so far off in their or is that they goofed: they only predicted for conventional crude oils, and somehow overlooked the fact that current production is measured for "All Liquids" - i.e., "crude" production is only around 73 mbd, but total liquids production is at 85 mbd.

Cite:
http://www.mnforsustain.org/oil_forecasting_production_using_discovery_laherrere505.htm

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 9:18:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

popmonkey wrote:
however, i don't agree with your tone here bashing Cambell who is a big enough guy to admit he was wrong.

pm, Colin Campbell is printing material in the ASPO newsletter which states that we are going to have to start killing the elderly and retarded due to peak oil. Read #29, and then come back here and defend Colin Campbell as some kindly old man who's trying to help us all out.

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 9:30:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

clv101 said...
Given how unreliable the data is I don't see these kinds of shifts as significant.

One shift is insignificant. Four shifts in a row is a pattern. Campbell has now shifted by 20 years between his early and most recent prediction. Why should anyone believe him again? He's the boy who cried wolf -- 4 times. He's doing damage. The boy who cried wolf was not the good guy. We shouldn't applaud his behavior for raising "wolf awareness".

 
At Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 11:34:00 PM PDT, Anonymous clv101 said...

JD said...
One shift is insignificant. Four shifts in a row is a pattern. Campbell has now shifted by 20 years between his early and most recent prediction. Why should anyone believe him again? He's the boy who cried wolf -- 4 times. He's doing damage. The boy who cried wolf was not the good guy. We shouldn't applaud his behavior for raising "wolf awareness".


He hasn't made 4 sifts in a row, continuously pushing peak further into the future! Less than two years ago he was saying 2010. Then more data became available and he changed the date to 2007... this month again more data and he's pushed it back out to 2010.

 
At Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 12:47:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

clv101,
You're ignoring all the incorrect forecasts Campbell made prior to ASPO.
Read Lynch's paper on the subject.

 
At Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 7:09:00 AM PDT, Blogger Quantoken said...

JD:
I am new here and after reading all your posts I am still confused about what exact are your view points on peak oil:

1.Will there be a peak of world oil production, or will there never be a peak?

2.Is there a finite amount of petroleum on the earth, or do we have an infinite amount?

3.Is the earth round and finite in size, or is it actually flat and infinite?

Ultimately, do you accept the peak oil as a reality, or as a fantasy? If you accept there will be a peak oil and you just disagree on when it occurs or what we should do about it, we can talk about that detail later. But if you simply do not think there will ever be peak oil ever, than you belong to the category who thinks the earth is flat, then let me know.

Quantoken

 
At Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 8:24:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Quantoken, there's no confusion. Peak oil is real, and it will be a serious problem. We may disagree, but not about the reality of peak oil.
JD

 
At Friday, October 7, 2005 at 2:32:00 PM PDT, Blogger eltonwilson said...

JD - I enjoy your site and views and presentation of both. You are just as harsh on the doomers as they are on the polyannas.

If you think peak oil is real, why do you call your site peak oil debunked? Shouldn't it be doomers debunked? Its pretty misleading.

 
At Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 3:49:00 PM PST, Anonymous ZarDoZ said...

eltonwilson

If you look at Peak Oil as a problem to overcome, but that can be overcome.. you are not a Peak Oiler. Only if you see Peak Oil as a end of the world event, then you are a Peak Oiler..

Most of the reputable predictions are 2015 to 2020. I feel that it will be more like 2017 2025.

Hey I just made a prediction..LOTOC should qout me, I have as much "brains" as some of the people he qoutes only because they have his world view...

Later..

 
At Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 3:33:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynch predicted $40 oil for two autumns on a row. That means that Lynch is a pseudo-scientist by your own standards.

 
At Friday, November 11, 2005 at 10:08:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that Laherrere predicts 2015 so steadfastly? I mean, weren't him and Campbell tag team partners for the original mainstream article in 1998? Why does his prediction say 2015 and Campbell's is "follow the bouncing date"? Also, what is it that makes Deffeyes say Thanksgiving this year? What evidence is there to disprove him?

Just want to know who to trust most (since now Campbell has been eliminated as a viable contender)

 
At Friday, November 18, 2005 at 8:50:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lynch predicted $40 oil for two autumns on a row. That means that Lynch is a pseudo-scientist by your own standards."


Lynch will tell you himself forcasting prices is not his fortee, he forcasts supply.

In the face of current data he cannot forecast a "peak", rather he thinks economic and political constraints will cause many "peaks" as the exploited fields decline but the unexploited ones remain in areas that are not accessible due to political or economic reasons.

Whether this is true is obviously debatable, but I'll take Lynch over Cambell any day.

 
At Friday, November 18, 2005 at 3:38:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I believe Campbell was calling for something like 200 dollars per barrel around now. So Lynch being off by about 20 dollars is certainly better than triple digits. Oh, but it's Campbell so it's okay or some crap.

 
At Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 5:58:00 PM PST, Anonymous Logix said...

Rule #1. No-one can predict the future, and the future contains events that we cannot imagine nor predict. But we can all create possible scenarios.

This means that the both the pollyannas or the doomers could turn out to be right. Or both wrong. The difference between sustained success and failure in this world however boils down to just two critical characteristics, prudence and persistence. This is why old money is always conservative money. Lawyers and bankers are the living embodiments of this rule, always assume the worst case and always protect your capital.

Much of the debate about PO dates is utterly irrelevant. The so called "date" will ONLY ever be known for certain in hindsight, therefore bunking or de-dunking on the basis of predictions is plain foolish.

Worse still any attempt to predict the date is beset by the simple mathematical reality that we are dealing with the differential rates of two very large and complex numbers, production and consumption, which contain many contributing components and interactions. The "peak" is NOT a well-defined event, there are many good reasons to expect it to be a drawn out somewhat bumpy plateau, therefore making predictions about a date is an inherently difficult task.

It would be a lot saner for all to simply accept that the "plateau" will occur sometime in the next 15-20 years. That is way soon enough for me. Stop bitching about a "date" ok?

Over this period it appears that the price and availability of both NG and Oil will become volatile. Sometime in our children's lifetime the cheap and plentiful supply of both these vital commodities will be but a memory. The only valid substitutes for them are coal, fission in the short term , fusion in the longer term and renewables. All of these options have well known costs and downsides.

Now imagine you were some kind of galactic banker and you had lent this particular species who called themselves homosapiens a LOT of money, on the grounds that they were going to around long enough and be prosperous enough to pay the interest on this loan. And you had one of your broker/analysts run the numbers on this little planet. And the guy comes back and says, well the CEO and executive staff were very gung-ho and optimistic about their future, but well I have to say the numbers are dodgy boss and there are a LOT of tangible risks they are running.

Prudence and persistence.

 
At Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 8:54:00 AM PDT, Anonymous joe said...

THOSE WHO WERE SAYING THAT THE FORECAST OF CAMPBELL WERE ALL WRONG WHAT CAN THEY SAY NOW THAT CRUDE OIL IS NOW $138 PER BARREL AND CAN GO UP TO $200 PER BARREL.

JOE GOLEZ PHILIPPINES

 
At Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:14:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The IEA has just announced it sees Peak Oil being reached after 2010.

Who's crying now!

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:06:00 PM PST, Anonymous Pete said...

We've already peaked anyway! Big deal, nothing has even happened. And nothing ever will. Those who think the whole world will begin crumbling have obviously missed the fact that the decline is setting in but the world is replacing ICE with electrics faster than the decline.

 

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