The peak year for discoveries of giant oil elds(ultimate recovery of 500 mbbl oil or more) in theU.S. was 1930—in the world, 1962. 80% of the oilproduced in 1995 was found before 1973. We nownd one barrel for every four we consume.
In the last 20 years, only three elds (in Norway,Columbia and Brazil) have been found with more thanone billion barrels each. None produce more than200,000 barrels a day. From 1990 to 2000 a total of 42 billion barrels of new reserves were discovered.In the same period the world consumed 250 billionbarrels.
CHART 1:EXPLORATION - DISCOVERY - CONSUMPTION
Source: Association for the Study of Peak Oil,www.asponews.org
E x p l o r a t o r y d r i l l i n g “ w i l d c a t s ” ( t h o u s a n d s ) A n n u a l o i l d i s c o v e r i e s m i n u s a n n u a l c o n s u m p t i o n ( b i l l i o n s o f b a r r e l s )
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000Discoveries greater than consumptionConsumption greater than discoveries
GLOBAL OIL PRODUCTION - UKERC
Despite large uncertainties in the available data,sufcient information is available to allow the statusand risk of global oil depletion to be adequatelyassessed. But the available methodologies canfrequently lead to underestimates of resource sizeand overly pessimistic forecasts of future supply. TheUKERC canvassed the existing research and came tothe following conclusions: −
The rate of decline of production is accelerat-ing. The global average decline rate of post-peak elds is at least 6.5%/year and the correspondingdecline rate of all currently producing elds is atleast 4%/year. This implies that approximately3 mb/day of capacity be added each year just tomaintain production at current levels – equivalentto a new Saudi Arabia coming on-stream every 3years. An additional 1 mb/day is required to meetdemand growth. From a different perspective,more than two thirds of existing capacity mayneed to be replaced by 2030 solely to preventproduction from falling.−
A peak in conventional oil production before 2030appears likely and there is a signicant risk of apeak before 2020.