279. THE MANY WRONG PREDICTIONS OF KEN DEFFEYES
In the interests of honesty and full-disclosure, it's probably best if we take a close look at the numerous failed peak predictions of Professor Kenneth Deffeyes, PhD.
Ken first called the peak for the year 2000. In an article called "Brace yourself for the end of cheap oil" in New Scientist*, Deffeyes had this to say:
And he [Deffeyes] believes the highest single year may already have passed. "2000 may stand as a blip above the curve and be in the Guinness Book of World Records."Similar remarks are recorded in the ASPO August 2003 newsletter:
This may substantiate the view, voiced by Ken Deffeyes, at the Paris ASPO Meeting [May 2003], that peak oil production may turn out to have been in 2000 as much from falling demand as supply constraints.This was a huge goof, and seriously calls into question Deffeyes grasp of the situation. According to the EIA, oil production in 2000 was 77mbd, while today it is pushing 85mbd.
Next, in his book "Hubbert's Peak", published in 2001, Deffeyes claimed that "the numbers" showed that peak would occur in 2003, although he admitted the possibility of error, as described in the review of his book in the October 2001 issue of Scientific American:
The numbers pointed to 2003 as the year of peak production, but because estimates of global reserves are inexact, Deffeyes settled on a range from 2004 to 2008. Three things could upset Deffeyes's prediction. One would be the discovery of huge new oil deposits. A second would be the development of drilling technology that could squeeze more oil from known reserves. And a third would be a steep rise in oil prices, which would make it profitable to recover even the most stubbornly buried oil.Then, in the New Scientist article* referenced earlier, Deffeyes made the following claim:
I am 99 per cent confident that 2004 will be the top of the mathematically smoothed curve of oil production.This too, turned out wrong. Production kept rising, so Deffeyes swept the old predictions under the carpet, and boldly stated that the peak would occur on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) 2005.
Yet again, his prediction turned out wrong, so he changed his prediction to Dec. 16, 2005.
In the January 2004 Current Events on this web site, I predicted that world oil production would peak on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005. In hindsight, that prediction was in error by three weeks. An update using the 2005 data shows that we passed the peak on December 16, 2005.Source(This waffle occurred in the same issue of his web newsletter where he claimed that "By 2025, we're going to be back in the Stone Age" -- a claim that he later backpedaled and retracted. See 259. KEN DEFFEYES STARTS BACKPEDALING.)
This still isn't the end of it. Just a few days ago a reader of this blog attended the EGU meeting in Vienna. In a "Great Debate" with Jean Laherrere, Michael Lynch and Yves Mathieu, Deffeyes said that if we consider the uncertainty of his regression line, peak oil can be expected to occur somewhere between Nov. 2005 and April 2006 -- i.e. right now. In other words, he's waffling yet again.
So let's total up the whole sorry scorecard. Deffeyes has predicted that PO would occur in:
Nov. 24 2005
Dec. 16 2005
And now Nov. 2005-April 2006.
No integrity whatsoever. Just a sad old man trying to hang onto the spotlight. Maybe it's time to retire, Ken, and open a waffle shop.
You wanna know the method that Ken is using to predict the peak now? It's fun. Anybody can do it, and it's guaranteed to work -- even if you're a drooling moron with Cheetos in your nostrils.
- Buzz over to the EIA site, and see what the current world oil production figure (X) is.
- State that X is the peak.
- If in fact X does turn out to be the peak, you're Prophet El Supremo.
- If oil production subsequently rises, you'll have to "readjust your prediction to take account of new data". Go to step 1.
“Never again will we pump more than 82 million barrels.”
-- T. Boone Pickens, 9th August 2004. On the Kudlow and Cramer Show, MSNBC.
“Global oil [production] is 84 million barrels [per day]. I don't believe you can get it any more than 84 million barrels."
-- T. Boone Pickens, addressing the 11th National Clean Cities conference in May 2005.
"I don't believe that you can increase the supply beyond 84 or 85 million barrel as day."
-- T. Boone Pickens, on "CNN In the Money", June 25, 2005.
"Supply is—you‘ve just about had it on supply; 85 million barrels a day world supply is about it. "
-- T. Boone Pickens, on Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC, Aug. 26, 2005
*) New Scientist vol 179 issue 2406 - 02 August 2003, page 9 -- a copy can be downloaded as a doc file here),
-- by JD