Matt Mushalik has been kind enough to organise permission for us to post a PDF copy of Petroleum Review’s April 2006 Megaprojects Update, compiled by Chris Skrebowski and his team at Petroleum Review. Acrobat required.

Download file: Petroleum Review April 2006 Megaprojects Update

Here are some notes on the report, from Matt Mushalik:

Chris Skrebowski, ASPO member and editor of Petroleum Review has presented his latest update of Megaprojects, a list of oil fields planned to come on stream in the next years, now up to 2013. It is entitled “Prices holding steady, despite massive planned capacity additions” and can be downloaded above.

The list has become more detailed compared to previous versions and includes fields with production down to 50 Kb/d. When plotting out maximum capacities year by year, a peak appears around 2010 but only when everything works according to plan (graph below). Chris mentions that the picture “looks somewhat brighter than even 6 months ago” and this is reflected in a higher, and slightly later peak.

A decline in existing fields at country level between 1.2 mb/d in 2006 and 2 mb/d in 2013 has been assumed. Delays of 20%pa and reductions of 10%pa would slightly change the overall capacity figures. Limitations resulting from shortages of drilling rigs, pipelines, tankers, refineries, and manpower have not been worked in. Future hurricanes in the GOM area may also change the picture. The biggest uncertainty, however, is from Saudi production. A massive increase in Saudi capacity of more than 4.2 mb/d over the period up to 2013 has been assumed, 1.2 mb/d from Khurais in 2009 alone. Total Saudi production would then exceed the “maximum sustainable capacity” of 12 mb/d by 2016 which Aramco announced in early 2004 at a conference in the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Taking into account Matt Simmon’s findings in his book “Twilight in the Desert” it is more than doubtful whether decline rates at Ghawar and other ageing Saudi fields are included in the above decline range of 1.2 to 2 mb/d pa. The above graph has therefore to be treated with caution. Also note the Non-OPEC peaking even with Canadian tar sands and the impact of additional production from Nigeria and Iran. Without Saudi production smoothing things out a double peak seems to be a possibility and this may turn into a bumpy production plateau given that high prices have already resulted in “demand destruction”. Chris’ list also includes “potential projects” without specific dates and these could well materialize in the period after 2010/11, prolonging the plateau. Peak oilers around the globe, get your spreadsheets ready and do your calcs!

Prepared by Matt Mushalik, Sydney