Tuesday, February 17, 2004
News from the Oil Patch
Princeton Geologist Kenneth Deffeyes, author of Hubbert's Peak, The Impending World Oil Shortage, which I reviewed in 2002, has an update on world oil production dated January 16, 2004. To review, Hubbert's Peak says, in essence, that world oil production will peak sometime in this decade, "never to rise again." Deffeyes, looking to tune up his prediction, writes:
At the end of December, Oil & Gas Journal published their oil production figures for calendar year 2003. From 2000 to 2003, world crude oil production has been essentially flat, which is to be expected as we roll over the top of the bell-shaped Hubbert curve. . . . There was some speculation that the year 2000 might stand as the single largest year of oil production. (Production in 2001 and 2002 was not as large as the year 2000.) However, 2003 squeaked ahead of 2000 by one-half of one percent. The important news is that growth has essentially stopped.Professor Deffeyes points out that all of the 2003 production increases come from Russian production, where deferred Soviet-era maintenance is finally being remedied. He continues:
Although it is a bit silly, we can now pick a day to celebrate passing the top of the mathematically smooth Hubbert curve: November 24, 2005 . . . To his credit, Alan Greenspan has been warning about a natural gas supply shortage in North America. None of the presidential candidates want to warn us about blood, sweat, and tears. Each is trying to promise us a better future than the next. It is probably going to require some sort of major crisis before the world oil supply gets on the national agenda.This is Big News, but you won't read it in the 'papers.
With the Japanese and US rejections, the Kyoto Accord on carbon dioxide reduction is now dead. I'm claiming to be The New Kyoto. We won't burn as much oil each year because it simply won't come out of the ground.
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