21 Sep '11, 11am

Peak oil - now or later? A response to Daniel Yergin

Any discussion about peak oil should begin with decline rates. Yergin’s organisation CERA is well aware of this fact having produced an excellent report on the subject a few years ago. Decline is the natural process whereby production rates fall as a result of depressurisation of the reservoir combined with water ingress into the oil-bearing strata. Oil production companies go to great lengths to mitigate for decline by injecting water or gas to maintain pressure, well maintenance programs (work overs) and by drilling new wells. Observed declines are therefore much less than natural declines but nevertheless run at a globalised average of around 5% per annum. With global C+C+NGL production running at 82 mmbpd, 5% observed net declines will wipe out 4.1 mmbpd capacity every year. What this means is that the oil industry must add 4.1 mmbpd new capacity every year from new fi...

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8391

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