Posts Tagged ‘peak oil’

Global oil production

Global oil demand for 2011 is expected to rise by 1.6% or 1.3 mb/d

Year-on-year to 87.8 mb/d, assuming consensus trends in the world economy, crude prices and efficiency gains. Growth will be driven entirely by non-OECD countries (+3.8% or +1.6 mb/d), while the OECD sees resumed decline (-0.5% or -0.2 mb/d). The 2010 outlook remains largely unchanged at 86.5 mb/d (+2.1% or +1.8 mb/d versus 2009). Source: International Energy Agency

World oil

Optimistic estimations of peak oil production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and then major investments in “alternatives” will occur, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.

Pessimistic predictions of future oil production says, that either the peak has already occurred, that oil production is on the peak, or that it will occur shortly. Entities such as governments or corporations can reduce supply to the world market by limiting access to the supply through nationalizing oil, cutting back the production, limiting drilling rights, imposing taxes, etc. International sanctions, corruption, and military conflicts can also reduce supply.

There are also those who believe that peak oil should be viewed as a positive event. If the price of oil rises high enough, the use of alternative clean fuels could help control the pollution of fossil fuel use as well as mitigate global warming.

And you, what you believe to?

The key players

OPEC is an alliance between 12 diverse oil producing countries (Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela) to control the supply of oil. OPEC’s power was consolidated as various countries nationalized their oil holdings, and wrested decision-making away from the “Seven Sisters,” (Anglo-Iranian, Socony-Vacuum, Royal Dutch Shell, Gulf, Esso, Texaco, and Socal) and created their own oil companies to control the oil. And don’t forgot there is “somewhere there” Russia, the second largest oil exporter in the world.

OPEC tries to influence prices by restricting production. It does this by allocating each member country a quota for production. All 12 members agree to keep prices high by producing at lower levels than they otherwise would. There is no way to verify adherence to the quota, so every member faces the same incentive to ‘cheat’ the cartel. According to some, the purpose for the second Iraq war was to break the back of OPEC and return control of the oil fields to western oil companies.

The recent and upcoming high price phase might add to a future demise of the oil industry – the timely and smooth setup of alternatives. Another factor in oil price is the cost of extracting crude. As the extraction of oil has become more difficult, oil’s historically high ratio of Energy Returned on Energy Invested has seen a significant decline. The increased price of oil makes unconventional sources of oil retrieval more attractive. For example, oil sands are actually a reserve of bitumen, a heavier, lower value oil compared to conventional crude.

Another significant factor on petroleum demand has been world population growth. Although demand growth is highest in the developing world, the United States is the world’s largest consumer of petroleum. Between 1995 and 2005, U.S. consumption grew from 17.7 million barrels a day to 20.7 million barrels a day, a 3 million barrel a day increase. China, by comparison, increased consumption from 3.4 million barrels a day to 7 million barrels a day, an increase of 3.6 million barrels a day, in the same time frame.

GPS 2010 – Global Petroleum Show is international business and technical conference focusing on current issues in the hydrocarbon energy industry and provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the political, economic and technological challenges and solutions surrounding the international oil and gas industry. After three exceptional days the oil and gas show ended 10.6.2010, having attracted thousands of attendees, exhibitors and  international delegations. And an “eating is the hard part” custom review from this event…

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