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TOD: Saudi Arabia’s Crude Oil Production Peaked in 2005

ace, The Oil Drum
Saudi Arabia’s historical crude oil production indicates a peak of 9.6 million barrels/day in 2005. In 2008, crude production was 9.3 mbd. In 2009 it is forecast to be 8.1 mbd followed by an increase in 2010 to 8.5 mbd. Unfortunately, after 2010 a steady decline is forecast.

The forecast production profile assumes that Saudi Arabia’s ultimate recoverable crude oil reserves (URR) are 185 billion barrels (Gb). However, it is possible that Saudi Arabia could have an additional 25 Gb from discovered undeveloped fields and future discoveries. A higher URR of 210 Gb implies that the additional production increment could decrease the total decline rate from about 2015 as shown by the dashed line in the chart below.

The URR estimates in the chart above are made by using secondary data sources. In this time of economic crisis, it would appear appropriate for Saudi Arabia’s oil fields to be publicly audited. The full disclosure of total remaining reserves, by field, would enable more effective future oil production and consumption planning in this post peak oil age.
(3 March 2009)

IEA says oil capacity crunch looms at end of 2013

Shrikesh Laxmidas, Reuters
“That is our concern. Investment, investment, investment, that is what we are asking,” IEA Executive Director Nabuo Tanaka said at a conference in Lisbon on Friday.

The Paris-based IEA, which advises 28 industrialised countries, earlier this month said global oil demand would drop by 980,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year but would rise again by about 1 million bpd in 2010 with an expected economic recovery.

Tanaka said that there was no room for complacency on spare oil capacity.

“We now see many cancellations or postponements of supply investment projects…and we learned the lesson last year when we didn’t invest, the market became volatile and oil prices reached $147 per barrel,” he said.

He added that supply from producing oil fields will decline dramatically, and that to offset the decline by 2030 “we need 45 million barrels per day of new capacity, or the equivalent of 4 Saudi Arabias”.
(27 February 2009)

Where Is Oil Production Headed?: An Adverse Scenario

Gail Tverberg, The Oil Drum
A lot of us have an image in the back of our mind of Hubbert’s peak. Based on this peak, we assume that oil production will decline in much the same pattern as it rose. For example, in an analysis performed several years ago, Luis de Sousa shows this graph, based on the application of Hubbert’s model to crude oil data available through 2004. Based on this analysis, he concluded that oil production was expected to peak around the Summer Solstice of 2006.

This graph is kind of scary, but it is also somewhat comforting. A person gets the idea that while there will be a decline, production will not go down too rapidly. Because of the apparently slow decline rate, it looks like we should be able to get along pretty well with a little adaptation–perhaps some electric cars.

I am concerned that the actual downside of the curve may look very different from the shape envisioned by Hubbert. The problem is that the limiting factor is likely not geology, but the failure of complex networked systems, particularly the financial system. Below the fold I show one view of what future oil production could look like, assuming the current unwind in world debt destabilizes the world financial system, and it becomes necessary to rebuild the system almost from scratch.
(4 March 2009)

Oil producers running out of storage space

Associated Press via MSNBC
Supertankers that once raced around the world to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for oil are now parked offshore, fully loaded, anchors down, their crews killing time. In the United States, vast storage farms for oil are almost out of room.

As demand for crude has plummeted, the world suddenly finds itself awash in oil that has nowhere to go.
(3 March 2009)
Jeffrey J. Brown (westexas) comments at TOD’s DrumBeat:
Crude oil inventories are definitely high, but only in terms of recent years, since the industry deliberately went to more of a Just In Time inventory system. In terms of Days of Supply in excess of MOL, year over year we have gone from about 72 hours of supply in excess of MOL to about 144 hours of supply in excess of MOL. This is what the writer refers to as a “virtual sea of surplus crude.”

Number of Rigs Drilling for Natural Gas in U.S. Drops to 5-Year Low

Matthew Robinson, Commodity Corner (blog), Reuters
[GRAPH] The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States fell below 1,000 last week for the first time in nearly five years, according to Baker Hughes Inc. The drop comes as prices for the fuel continue to fall.

The current gas rig total of 970 is the lowest number of gas rigs since March 19, 2004, when there were 963 gas rigs operating.

The graph above shows the number of rigs drilling for natural gas versus the price for New York Mercantile Exchange front-month gas futures.
(4 March 2009)