Några svar på CERAS pressrelease
väntat har det bubblat här och var efter CERAS utmanande pressrelease där
Peak Oilteorin utmålas som ett stort hot mot vår gemensamma energiframtid.
Några välkända Peak Oil-människor i USA, ("Randy Udall, Energy Analyst,
Co-Founder ASPO-USA, Jeremy Gilbert, Former Chief Petroleum Engineer, BP,
Steve Andrews, Co-Founder ASPO-USA") har skrivit ett svar där de avslutande
punkterna ser ut så här:
(Mycket och liten text, men naturligvis läsvärt)
What evidence is there to suggest that
a peak in global oil production is near? CERA seeks a sober dialogue to
identify “clear signposts that will herald the onset” of either the peak or
their “undulating plateau” of world oil production. Here, ten reasons why
this turning point is likely between now and 2015.
- M. King Hubbert, winner of the top
award in earth sciences—the Vetlesen Prize-- was an enormously
courageous, bright, and prescient man who may have done more with a
slide rule than his contemporary critics can with a supercomputer, but
it’s a mistake to build the peak oil case entirely around his famous
With some exceptions, (the North Sea, the United States, Indonesia, for
example, and most of the minor producers who are long past peak) falling
reserves are generally not the most important brake on efforts to
increase oil production. There are numerous other constraints (including
limits on financing, logistics, shortages of rigs and drilling ships, a
lack of skilled manpower, extremes of weather, political or military
conflict) that make it increasingly difficult to expand production.
These constraints, which sometimes operate synergistically, work to
restrain and delay production growth which might otherwise compensate
for declines elsewhere. Iraq, for example, has sufficient reserves to
theoretically produce 5 million barrels a day. But wishing won’t make it
- Globally, oil production is highly
concentrated in a small number of countries and regions and is becoming
more so. Twenty nations produce 83% of the world’s oil, and production
in many has already peaked. As others in this top twenty gradually “roll
over,” it will become increasingly difficult for the remaining members
of this exclusive club to “up the ante,” increasing their own production
to offset declines elsewhere. Indeed, in CERA’s forecast to 2015
published last summer, the authors acknowledge that conventional crude
production will plateau around 2010, but forecast that the availability
of natural gas liquids will continue to grow as global gas production
- Production outside OPEC is forecast by
most experts to peak between 2010 and 2015. Once that occurs, there is
no possibility that any combination of non-OPEC countries could offset
significant production declines in other parts of the world. A wide
range of analysts agree on this, including PFC Energy, ExxonMobil,
Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and Woods Mackenzie. Their
conclusions are supported by other studies carried out by Chris
Skrebowski, Tom Petrie, Henry Groppe and others.
- The overwhelming majority of remaining
conventional petroleum reserves are concentrated around the Arabian
Gulf. There, they are largely off-limits to the world’s independent oil
companies which tend to have the best technology and the most highly
trained engineers and geoscientists. This technology and these people
are increasingly essential to efficiently extract the oil from the
increasingly complex reservoirs which hold most of the remaining
- The Middle East region is riven by
religious, cultural, geopolitical and military conflicts. It is a
cauldron for conflict. Muslim governments control about two-thirds of
the world’s remaining conventional oil and are increasingly bitterly
opposed to U.S. government policies. In most of these key nations, the
ability to expand production is larger than the current desire to do so;
they are unlikely to see any benefit in early production of their oil to
slake an American or Chinese thirst.
- Increases in production from the
non-Middle East OPEC member countries are unlikely to compensate for
production declines elsewhere. Nigeria's production has been undercut by
insurgents; Venezuela's production is falling due to mismanagement and
the "Chavez factor"; Indonesia’s production appears to be in
- Unconventional petroleum resources (Canada’s
tar sands, Venezuela’s bitumen and U.S. oil shales) are very large and
very misunderstood. All oil is not created equal. Although they total
trillions of barrels in the aggregate, expanding unconventional
production is expensive, technically arduous and slow. Because these
resources can not be produced at high rates, they can do little to
postpone the peak in global production.
For example, at forecast 2015 rates of production, it will take more
than a century to produce Canada’s 175 billion barrels of tar sand
reserves. (A financial analogy: Imagine having $100,000,000 in your IRA,
but being forbidden to withdraw more than $100,000 per year. You are
rich, sort of.) With tens of billions of investment, Venezuela could
expand its bitumen production, but Chavez is in no rush to do so, nor
are the importing countries showing any indication of the investments in
refinery modifications which would be required to deal with the
increased proportion of very heavy oil.
As for oil shale, global production has never exceeded 25,000 barrels a
day, has fallen by half since 1990, and now provides just 1/10,000th of
global energy. Typical oil shales have the energy density of a baked
potato. (In Colorado, Shell hopes to pull the sword from the stone using
electricity: a dedicated 1,200 MW powerplant will be needed to produce
100,000 b/d, making this the world’s largest electricity consumer.)
Other oft-heralded types of unconventional liquids, such as
gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids, are very capital intensive and offer
abysmal energy returns.
Biofuels, particularly Brazilian ethanol, will make an important
contribution but only regionally. A breakthrough in the production of
cellulosic ethanol would be welcome, but is unlikely to occur before oil
- Production decline from producing
fields is inevitable and relentless, and trees don’t grow to the sky!
Not all the world’s oil fields are in decline, but the majority are. No
one knows what the average global decline rate is, but assuming CERA’s
conservative 5% decline rate in mature fields, the existing global
production base loses more than 2.5 million barrels per day/year. This
means that by 2015 we may need 20 million barrels per day of new
production just to maintain current world production.
Most of the world’s large fields, a few hundred of which are the main
contributors to global production, have been on production for decades.
Many are known to have increasing water cuts or gas-oil ratios, and are
in decline. Examples of major fields which are thought to have gone into
decline include Mexico’s Cantarell, Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, Kuwait’s
Burgan, and perhaps Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar. (If the Saudis wish to allay
fears about the well-being of their major fields, they could do so by
releasing data on their production histories. Their reluctance to do
this, while perfectly understandable, is not particularly reassuring.)
- Roughly 80% of the world’s remaining
oil reserves are controlled by national oil companies such as Saudi
Aramco, Pemex, Petrobras, ADNOC and NIOC. In the grand scheme of things,
BP, ExxonMobil, and Shell are relatively small players and no longer
have the ability to significantly expand production. (Exxon has spent
$100 billion since year 2000 with no growth to show for it. Lee Raymond
may not “believe” in peak oil, but his company’s recent performance
doesn’t exactly refute the idea.) In evaluating whether to invest in
increasing production, the NOCs rely on a different set of calculations
and motivations than the IOCs.
National interests, which tend to favor ensuring that oil reserves will
still exist for the current leaders’ grand-children, often trump what
Westerners would define as rational economic decision-making. Recently,
a number of these government-owned companies have unilaterally rewritten
the terms of existing contracts, rejected joint-development proposals
from IOCs, and taken various steps to further restrict access by the
IOCs to their reserves. See Putin, who has recognized that energy is the
original currency, and with it he can wage a new cold war.
In short, production expansions by the NOCs are likely to take place
over longer periods and to lower levels than some analysts had expected.
- Discovery rates are falling rapidly.
We are now producing two to three barrels of oil for every additional
one we find. New discoveries are also much smaller than those of a few
decades ago. It has been 25 years since we discovered a field capable of
producing 1 million barrels per day.
During the 1970s, at the time of the first Oil Crises, the North Slope,
North Sea, and Cantarell were standing in reserve, ready to ride to the
rescue. In contrast, today there are few, if any, large, untapped virgin
fields waiting in the wings. The offshore fields that are being
developed (primarily in West Africa, the Caspian, Brazil and the
deepwater Gulf of Mexico) are smaller, more complex, and, in cases,
nearly prohibitively expensive to develop.
CERA ignores 10 warning signposts of peak oil finns hos Energy Bulletin
En annan ganska rejäl respons hittar man hos
Peak Oil är FEL!
Energianalysfirman CERA har vid flera tillfällen ställt sig som motståndare
till idén om att världens oljeförsörjning närmar
sig en topp för att sedan sjunka. De brukar ha den mest optimistiska synen
av alla jämförbara analytiker.
Idag publicerades en pressrelease med titeln Peak Oil Theory – “World
Running Out of Oil Soon” – Is Faulty; Could Distort Policy & Energy Debate
new analysis of the subject by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA)
finds that the remaining global oil resource base is actually 3.74 trillion
barrels -- three times as large as the 1.2 trillion barrels estimated by the
"CERA finds that not only will world oil production not peak before 2030,
but that the idea of a peak is itself “a dramatic but highly questionable
"Peak Theory Shortcomings
review also finds that current “peak oil” advocacy suffers from several
- The peak argument is not
presented in the context of a credible systematic evaluation of
available data; its proponents have not made available a transparent and
detailed analysis that would allow an objective and rational discussion.
At base “their methodology is to impute decline curves against currently
proven reserves and declare that the game – and the argument – is over.”
- The underlying
analytical model formulated by the late M. King Hubbert both fails to
recognize that recoverable reserve estimates evolve with time and are
subject to significant change, and it also underplays the substantial
impact of technological advances. Consequently, total annual production
at the high point in 1970 was 600 million barrels higher – 20 percent --
than Hubbert’s projection of peak production for the US Lower 48,
although he correctly anticipated its timing within two years.
- Hubbert’s method
requires accurate knowledge of the ultimate recoverable reserves of an
area, but his 1956 analysis could never have incorporated the impact of
giant discoveries in Alaska and the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, and
therefore couldn’t have predicted the production profile for the U.S.
As a result, total cumulative U.S. production between the high point in
1970 and 2005 exceeded Hubbert’s predictions by the equivalent of more
than 10 years of US production at present rates.
post-peak reservoir decline curve assumptions are rebutted by
observation that the geometry of typical oilfield production profiles is
often distinctly asymmetrical and does not generally show a precipitous
mirror-image decline in production after an apparent peak, even without
the application of new technology or enhanced oil recovery techniques.
As a result, in the US Lower 48 where Hubbert came closest to accurately
forecasting a peak, oil production in 2005 was some 66 percent higher
than projected by Hubbert, and cumulative production between 1970 and
2005 was some 15 billion barrels higher, a variance equal to more than
eight years of US production at present rates.
- Those who believe a peak
is imminent tend to consider only proven remaining reserves of
conventional oil, which they currently estimate at about 1.2 trillion
barrels. In the view of many petroleum geologists, this is a
pessimistic estimate because it excludes the enormous contribution
likely from probable and possible resources, those yet to be found, and
plays down the importance of unconventional reserves in the Canadian oil
sands, the Orinoco tar belt, oil shale and GTL projects. CERA believes
the global inventory is some 4.8 trillion barrels, of which about 1.08
trillion barrels have been produced, leaving 3.72 trillion conventional
and unconventional barrels, an order of magnitude that will allow
productive capacity to continue to expand well into this century.
- The “peak oil” argument
is frequently supported with data indicating that new exploration finds
are not sufficient to replace annual production. Their data sets have
serious deficiencies. The peak argument is an incomplete and therefore
misleading analysis because it ignores the role of development (vs
exploration) projects in expanding reserves, fails to understand
economic factors that can point company and national strategies to
emphasize development vs exploration work. By focusing on “discovery”
and ignoring the increased knowledge and confidence about field volumes,
it disregards the fact that revisions, additions and exploration
together have generated resource growth of 320 billion barrels – 80
billion barrels more, or one-third more, than total production – during
the period from 1995 to 2003. CERA draws both on its own data bases and
those of its parent company IHS, which has the world’s most complete
proprietary data bases on oil production and resources.
- Hubbert’s method does
not incorporate economic or technical factors that influence productive
capacity; most importantly, it ignores the impact of both price and
demand, both major drivers of production.
- Peakists’ projections of
the date a peak would be reached continue to come and go, the most
recent targeted around Thanksgiving Day 2005, give or take a few weeks."
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