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ODAC Guest Commentary - Consensus About Conventional Oil Depletion?

The CERAWEEK 2008 energy conference was held in Houston last week. CERA also published a full eight pages of commentary in a Special Advertising Section of the U.S. Wall Street Journal on February 12 and 13 titled “Focus On Energy: CERAWEEK 2008”.

CERA states that one of the conclusions of their analysis of the world’s 811 largest producing oilfields is that the big fields start to decline after an average 13 years of production and the smaller fields start to decline after an average 8 years of production.

Since all the fields have been in production for some years it is reasonable to say that today’s largest oil fields will start to show a cumulative decline sometime in the next decade. Isn’t that what most producers outside of OPEC have been saying?

The next question is how much new oil and biofuel will be available in the next decade? CERA reiterates that combined old and new oil plus biofuels will amount to about 112 mbd in 2017 but does not go into detail.

CERA also says, “The issue of climate change poses the first serious challenge to fossil fuels primacy”. How about depletion? We are not looking for oil inside the arctic circle and in ultra deep water because we are afraid of global warming, but because we are running out of adequate conventional oil sources.

PETER WEGGEMANN, Retired chemist, petrochemicals. Naples, Florida

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