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The oil production story: pre- and post-peak nations

The world oil production data below tell a story about: 1) nations that are past peak (see "Peak Year," turquoise fill), because of geologic limits (e.g., US, Norway, etc.) or other reasons; and 2) nations that have yet to peak (see "na" under "Peak Year;" Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria), or if they have peaked it is not yet clear.

An equally interesting trend is--irrespective of peaking--whether or not nations are increasing (first column; Angola); have either flat or volatile production (second column, in blue; Iran, Iraq); or are experiencing decreasing production (third column, in red). Finally, the net amount of change in any year (2007 data, plus preliminary 2008 % data) is useful.

Six nations increased by over 100,000 barrels/day-year (vs. 12 in 2004); six experienced declines over 100,000 barrels/day-year (vs. two in 2004; Saudi Arabia will bounce back). Peak appears to be approaching, but probably isn't here for a few years. We suggest you follow the increasing roles of violence, resource nationalism, timing of production investment and peak oil exports .

BP's data show 2007 world oil production at 81.5 million barrels per day, down 0.2% over 2006. Note that the Top 10 producers account for 63% of world oil production and that the Top 20 account for 85%; all Top 20 produce over 1 million barrels per day. During 2005, Angola moved up into that exclusive club. Note how many nations have likely peaked: 6 of Top 10; 10 or 11 of the Top 20; etc. China is nearing its peak/plateau, Russia probably repeaked in 2007.

(Note -- I'm sorry that the images are small and hard to read. It was the best I could do. -- Dave Cohen)

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