327. STRONG ARGUMENT FOR A SLOW DECLINE
There is a lot of doomer FUD circulating in the peak oil community about how global oil production will collapse or decline rapidly in the post-peak period. Some of the worst offenders are suggesting that production will decline at rates of 8-12%, or more. These people are fearmongering, plain and simple, and have no sound basis for making these claims. Here are 4 good reasons why global liquids production will decline at a mild rate of less than 2% for 20 years after peak oil.
1) Stuart Staniford of the Oil Drum has shown that Hubbert Theory says Peak is a Slow Squeeze. His analysis shows that (on the average) the world will decline at a rate slower than 2% for 20 years. In fact, it suggests the world will decline slower than the U.S., where liquids production has been declining at an average annual rate of 1.4% for 36 years since its peak in 1970.
2) Colin Campbell currently predicts, in the ASPO Newsletter for Jan. 2008, that liquids production will drop from 87mbd at peak in 2010, to 60mbd 20 years later in 2030. Bust out the calculator, folks. That's an annual decline rate of 1.8%.
3) I myself have pointed out the obvious tendency of large multi-country blocks (like continents etc.) to plateau for decades, including the amazing case of North America, which has been on an undulating plateau of about 14-15mbd for almost 30 years (Source BP Stat. Rev. 2007):
4) Jean Laherrere has also noticed the tendency of large blocks to plateau, and predicts(pdf) the world will plateau for 10 years:
I have access to several technical databases.
Liquids production will significantly decline after a likely bumpy plateau 2010-2020 and likely chaotic oil prices.
30 years from now, production of easy oil will be 35% less than to day but production of all liquids (including from coal and biomass) only 5% less than to day.
Here's his chart:
Eyeballing, the forecast is for 73mbd in 2040, down from a peak of about 92mbd in 2015. That's an annual decline rate of 1%.
To conclude, we've got the four smartest people in peak oil saying that the world liquids decline rate will be 1 to 2% for decades after the peak.
To those doomers who remain unconvinced: I hereby issue a challenge. Post in the comments. Show me the argument that proves Stuart Staniford, Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrere have got it all wrong about peak oil.