137. PEAK OILER DOGMA
-- by Antimatter
The assertion that new technologies, EOR etc only increase production rate but not URR is taken as gospel.
Ditto for the assertion that reserves growth is solely a function of conservative SEC reporting rules in the US.
Chevron does a nice little PR campaign (willyoujoinus.com) - peak oilers say "Chevron says peak oil is here!"
ExxonMobil forecasts that non-OPEC production will peak around 2015. In their forecast, NGLs, tar sands and other unconventional liquids turn this into a plateau and OPEC boosts production resulting in no peak till 2030. Somehow, peak oilers say "ExxonMobil says oil will peak in 2010!!"
The WoodMackenzie report that found some oil companies spent more on exploration than the value of the oil they discovered is often cited. Never mind that that study was based on $20 oil, and a later report from WoodMac showed that at $40 even the poorly performing companies had done very nicely indeed.
Sudden dips in production from country x,y,z are seized upon. Witness the thread a month or so ago entitled "MEXICAN OIL PRODUCTION CRASHES!" when production was shut in due to a hurricane. A similar thread on Norway was started when production fell sharply, complete with much hand wringing. Turns out the official reason, fields shut down for maintainace for longer than expected, was true, and production rebounded a couple of months later. Naturally, this went unnoticed.
Many peak oilers deride economics, then point to the high price of oil as proof that peak is here.
Posts full of errors such as confusing source rocks and reservior rocks are greated with backslapping and approval when they fit the groupthink view.
An OPEC official announces that members are free to produce flat out. This has happened a couple of times at least. Peak oilers freak out and compare it to the Texas Railroad Commisions statement in 1970 allowing producers to pump flat out. This is followed by "the peak is here!!!". The possibility that OPEC may expand capacity is evidently not considered.
Events are taken out of context. For example, Saudi Arabia announces they are doubling their active rig fleet to 110 rigs vs 50 or so. Peak Oilers say "they are desperatly drilling holes as fast as possible to offset exponentially increasing declines". This lacks context. As we speak, 2179 rigs are churning away in North America alone for much lower returns. It should be no suprise that this occurs after they reveal ambitious plans to increase production to meet surging demand, after churning out crude for decades without drilling many new wells.
Every possible piece of news is taken as evidence The Peak Is Here, whilst Campbell/ASPO shifts the peak back (again) to 2010 and Jean Laherrere's liquids peak of 2015 stays steady.