Guest Post: Peak Denial About Peak Oil

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Peak Denial About Peak Oil

It is par for the course that with oil hovering between $70 and $80
per barrel Americans have continued to buy SUVs and Trucks at a rapid
pace. Politicians don’t have constituents screaming at them because gas
is $4.00 per gallon, so it is no longer an issue for them. They need to
focus on the November elections. It is no time to discuss a difficult
issue that requires foresight and honesty. It is no time to tell the
American public that oil will be over $200 a barrel within the next 5
years. Anyone who would go on CNBC today and declare that oil will be
over $200 a barrel would be eviscerated by bubble head Bartiromo or
clueless Kudlow. Bartiromo filled up her Escalade this morning for $2.60
a gallon, so there is no looming crisis on the horizon. The myopic view
of the world by politicians, the mainstream media and the American
public in general is breathtaking to behold. Despite the facts slapping
them across the face, Americans believe cheap oil is here to stay. It is
their right to have an endless supply of cheap oil. The American way of
life has been granted by God. We are the chosen people.

A funny thing happened on our way to permanent prosperity and
unlimited cheap oil. The right to prosperity was yanked out from
underneath us by the current Greater Depression. The worldwide economic
downturn has masked the onset of peak cheap oil. Therefore, when it hits
America with its full fury, it will be a complete surprise to the
ignorant masses and the ignorant politicians who run this country. A
Gallup Poll in August asked Americans about our most important problems.
Where is the concern about future energy supplies? It isn’t on the
radar screens of Americans. They are probably more worried about whether
The Situation will hook up with Snookie on the Jersey Shore reality


It is not surprising that the American public, American politicians,
and the American media don’t see the impending crisis. The organizations
that have an interest in looking farther than next week into the future
have all concluded that the downside of peak oil will cause chaos
throughout the world. The US Military, the German Military, and the UK
Department of Energy have all done detailed studies of the situation and
come to the same conclusions. Social chaos, economic confusion, trade
barriers, conflict, food shortages, riots, and war are in our future.

The U.S. was warned in 2005. Its own Department of Energy
commissioned a report by Robert Hirsch to examine peak oil and its
potential consequences to the US. The introduction stated:

“The peaking of world oil production
presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management
problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price
volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation,
the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable
mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to
have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in
advance of peaking.”

The main conclusions reached by the experts who worked on this report were:

  1. World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt.
    World production of conventional oil will reach a maximum and decline
  2. Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies, particularly the
    U.S. Over the past century the U.S. economy has been shaped by the
    availability of low-cost oil. The economic loss to the United States
    could be measured on a trillion-dollar scale. Aggressive fuel efficiency
    and substitute fuel production could provide substantial mitigation.
  3. The problem is liquid fuels for transportation. The lifetimes of
    transportation equipment are measured in decades. Rapid changeover in
    transportation equipment is inherently impossible. Motor vehicles,
    aircraft, trains, and ships have no ready alternative to liquid fuels.
  4. Mitigation efforts will require substantial time. Waiting until
    production peaks would leave the world with a liquid fuel deficit for 20
    years. Initiating a crash program 10 years before peaking leaves a
    liquid fuels shortfall of a decade. Initiating a crash program 20 years
    before peaking could avoid a world liquid fuels shortfall.
  5. It is a matter of risk management. The peaking of world oil
    production is a classic risk management problem. Mitigation efforts
    earlier than required may be premature, if peaking is long delayed. On
    the other hand, if peaking is soon, failure to initiate mitigation could
    be extremely damaging.
  6. Economic upheaval is not inevitable. Without mitigation, the peaking
    of world oil production will cause major economic upheaval. Given
    enough lead-time, the problems are soluble with existing technologies.
    New technologies will help, but on a longer time scale.

The Hirsch Report clearly laid out the problem. It urged immediate
action on multiple fronts. It is now 5 years later and absolutely
nothing has been done. In the meantime, it has become abundantly clear
that worldwide oil production peaked between 2005 and 2010. The Hirsch
Report concluded we needed to begin preparing 20 years before peak oil
in order to avoid chaos. We are now faced with the worst case scenario.

The US Military issued a Joint Operating Environment report earlier
this year. They have no political motivation to sugarcoat or present a
dire picture. This passage is particularly disturbing:

A severe energy crunch is inevitable
without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While
it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and
strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce
the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds.
Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions,
push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse,
and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India. At
best, it would lead to periods of harsh economic adjustment. To what
extent conservation measures, investments in alternative energy
production, and efforts to expand petroleum production from tar sands
and shale would mitigate such a period of adjustment is difficult to
predict. One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a
number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their
nations by ruthless conquest.

Here is the summary of their analysis:

To generate the energy required worldwide by the 2030s would require us to find an additional 1.4 MBD every year until then.

the next twenty-five years, coal, oil, and natural gas will remain
indispensable to meet energy requirements. The discovery rate for new
petroleum and gas fields over the past two decades (with the possible
exception of Brazil) provides little reason for optimism that future
efforts will find major new fields.

present, investment in oil production is only beginning to pick up,
with the result that production could reach a prolonged plateau. By
2030, the world will require production of 118 MBD, but energy producers
may only be producing 100 MBD unless there are major changes in current
investment and drilling capacity.

2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as
early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD.

production and distribution infrastructure must see significant new
investment if energy demand is to be satisfied at a cost compatible with
economic growth and prosperity. Efficient hybrid, electric, and
flex-fuel vehicles will likely dominate light-duty vehicle sales by 2035
and much of the growth in gasoline demand may be met through increases
in biofuels production. Renewed interest in nuclear power and green
energy sources such as solar power, wind, or geothermal may blunt rising
prices for fossil fuels should business interest become actual
investment. However, capital costs in some power-generation and
distribution sectors are also rising, reflecting global demand for
alternative energy sources and hindering their ability to compete
effectively with relatively cheap fossil fuels. Fossil fuels will very
likely remain the predominant energy source going forward.

Just this week, the German magazine Der Spiegel obtained a
confidential study about peak oil that was done by the German military.
According to the German report, there is “some probability that peak oil
will occur around the year 2010 and that the impact on security is
expected to be felt 15 to 30 years later.” The major conclusions of the
study as detailed in Der Spiegel are as follows:

  1. Oil will determine power: The Bundeswehr
    Transformation Center writes that oil will become one decisive factor in
    determining the new landscape of international relations: “The relative
    importance of the oil-producing nations in the international system is
    growing. These nations are using the advantages resulting from this to
    expand the scope of their domestic and foreign policies and establish
    themselves as a new or resurgent regional, or in some cases even global
    leading powers.”
  2. Increasing importance of oil exporters: For
    importers of oil more competition for resources will mean an increase in
    the number of nations competing for favor with oil-producing nations.
    For the latter this opens up a window of opportunity which can be used
    to implement political, economic or ideological aims. As this window of
    time will only be open for a limited period, “this could result in a
    more aggressive assertion of national interests on the part of the
    oil-producing nations.”
  3. Politics in place of the market: The Bundeswehr
    Transformation Center expects that a supply crisis would roll back the
    liberalization of the energy market. “The proportion of oil traded on
    the global, freely accessible oil market will diminish as more oil is
    traded through bi-national contracts,” the study states. In the long
    run, the study goes on, the global oil market, will only be able to
    follow the laws of the free market in a restricted way. “Bilateral,
    conditioned supply agreements and privileged partnerships, such as those
    seen prior to the oil crises of the 1970s, will once again come to the
  4. Market failures: The authors paint a bleak picture
    of the consequences resulting from a shortage of petroleum. As the
    transportation of goods depends on crude oil, international trade could
    be subject to colossal tax hikes. “Shortages in the supply of vital
    goods could arise” as a result, for example in food supplies. Oil is
    used directly or indirectly in the production of 95 percent of all
    industrial goods. Price shocks could therefore be seen in almost any
    industry and throughout all stages of the industrial supply chain. “In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse.”
  5. Relapse into planned economy: Since virtually all
    economic sectors rely heavily on oil, peak oil could lead to a “partial
    or complete failure of markets,” says the study. “A conceivable
    alternative would be government rationing and the allocation of
    important goods or the setting of production schedules and other
    short-term coercive measures to replace market-based mechanisms in times
    of crisis.”
  6. Global chain reaction: “A restructuring of oil
    supplies will not be equally possible in all regions before the onset of
    peak oil,” says the study. “It is likely that a large number of states
    will not be in a position to make the necessary investments in time,” or
    with “sufficient magnitude.” If there were economic crashes in some
    regions of the world, Germany could be affected. Germany would not
    escape the crises of other countries, because it’s so tightly integrated
    into the global economy.
  7. Crisis of political legitimacy: The Bundeswehr
    study also raises fears for the survival of democracy itself. Parts of
    the population could perceive the upheaval triggered by peak oil “as a
    general systemic crisis.” This would create “room for ideological and
    extremist alternatives to existing forms of government.” Fragmentation
    of the affected population is likely and could “in extreme cases lead to
    open conflict.”

Even the International Energy Agency, which has always painted a rosy
picture of the future, has even been warning about future shortages due
to lack of investment and planning.

Americans think that the discovery of oil on our soil in 1859 has
entitled us to an endless supply. It is not so. We account for 4.3% of
the world’s population but consume 26% of the world’s oil. As China,
India and the rest of the developing world become economic powerhouses,
they will consume more and more of the dwindling supply of easily
accessible oil. As the consumption curve continues upwards, the
production curve will be flat. The result will be huge spikes in prices.
It will not be a straight line, but prices will become progressively
higher. As the studies referenced above have concluded, the result will
be economic pain, social chaos, supply wars, food shortages, and a
drastic reduction in lifestyles of Americans. They won’t see it coming,
just like they didn’t see the housing collapse coming or the financial
system collapse coming. They’ll just keep filling up those Escalades
until the pump runs dry.


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DarkMath's picture

Add Peak Baby Boom Spending to this:

and we get a terrible downdraft in the markets coming in the next 10 years.

Oh I forgot the next Peak we're currently climbing Peak Debt. We've just begun the long ascent up that mountain.

Ooo boy, I'm tickled pink to think of the blood on the sidewalks on Wall Street.

Millennial's picture

This recovery summer has been so dull with all the green shoots sprouting everywhere. I can't wait for recovery fall. I'll be in the army and they're gonna pay me in recovery dollars and I'll save my recovery dollars in recovery winter and maybe I'll go to recovery Afghanistan and then when I come home to recovery summer 2011 I'll take that big step of buying a recovery Mustang and maybe go recovery officer candidate school. Now if you recovery excuse me I'm gonna go get some recovery orange juice for my recovery hangover and prepare for a recovery concert at Comerica park featuring Eminem and Jay z. I need recovery lunch; my stomach is recovery upset.


Recovery. Just had to say it once more.'s picture

Recovery, bitchez.

hey can i go to the concert with you, bro? love MnM & Z.

JLee2027's picture

There are trillions of barrels of shale oil in the Western United States and Canada. More than in Saudi Arabia. Peak oil isn't here yet.

SheepDog-One's picture

JLee yes, all time record oil and gas reserves already on hand, what theyre bitching about is a carbon tax and total control by a very few.

trav7777's picture

GFD, you idiots are the entire problem.

You're not sufficiently intelligent to understand Peak Theory, yet you feel compelled to speak on it.

Reserves have NOTHING to do with production rates.

curbyourrisk's picture

Holy God Batman.....this guy don't give up.


Hey....come to NY, I have this bridge I would to sell you...We ain't building anymore,,,,so it must be PEAK BRIDGE time in NY too!!!!

EscapeKey's picture

Well, please do explain what's incorrect about his statement.

Ultimately recoverable isn't equal to original oil in place, which means every time some uninformed moron spouts "oh there's trillions of barrels in the Bakken formation", only very little can actually be extracted and put to use.

And the production rate decides at which pace you can extract it.

Stop commenting on something you clearly know nothing about.


tmosley's picture

Your post makes me think of a person in the 1880's standing on a street corner distributing pamphlets about the dangers of peak whale oil.

Only a little oil can be extracted from the Bakken formation NOW.  Bump up the price enough, and someone will come up with a method that allows it to be extracted, possibly even cheaply.

Further, once the US is in economic ruin, NIMBY problems will disappear, and we can start drilling much closer to shore, and in a lot of on-shore reserves that are now accessible with newly developed technology.

Think about gold mining in China.  Gold was mined there for thousands of years, but mining was halted under Mao.  Fast forward to the last decade, when gold mining starts up again, suddenly China has become the world's largest gold producer, despite having been mined "dry" for thousands of years.  New technology made a lot more of that gold recoverable, and that is only with 60 odd years of technological advance.

trav7777's picture

You guys just keep dreamin, whydontcha?

US production peaked in 1970.  USSR in 1989.

Some 58 out of the top 65 oil producing nations have peaked and are now in decline.

Get the fuck OVER IT already.  It happens, it is fact, there's no way you can invent your technomiracle in the future that is going to reverse it when FORTY YEARS worth of dreaming hasn't done shit to the US's production curve.

Just hope "someone" comes up with something.  So, in other words, you are high on Hopium.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

There is still plenty of room for zeros on the dollar, too. 

Why worry, right?

grunion's picture

Recoverable at the current technology. The steering tools get better and better. Soon enough, they will be able to follow a spaghetti noodle.

tmosley's picture

Well, yes, actually, they do.  Production rates are limited by factors other than reserves, however.  Namely political pressure, government regulations, and NIMBY.  You could look at the output of nuclear power in this country and claim that we have reached peak uranium, but that is far from true.  NIMBY and regulations have simply shut down all new production.  New oil production isn't completely shut down, but it has shifted away from areas where the combination of political and geographical features makes economical recovery difficult or impossible.

The thing about political hinderance is that it is not permanent.

trav7777's picture

Please, shut up.

You could only claim peak uranium when the amount of uranium being produced from the ground hits a maximum, then declines.

This WILL happen.

Gold production peaked long ago in RSA.  And in the US...our production now declines.  Helium globally peaked in 2002, Gold in 2000.  Look, man, the evidence is all around you and is incontrovertible.

Even WATER will peak...yes, it will!  Despite the fact that water cannot be destroyed or consumed.  Water peak will be when we cannot extract water for use any faster.  Water won't go into supply decline, however, thank god for that.  Oil will because oil gets burnt or turned into plastics.

VK's picture

BULLSHIT. What counts is the NET energy. You can be making a million dollars annually, but what counts is the NET salary you get. If your tax rate is 99pc, you only get peanuts. Same thing with energy, the tar sands and shale oil have never been really viable as they have very, very low NET energy. There might be a lot of GROSS energy available but what society has to use is the NET. In that regard Saudi oil produced a 100:1 surplus, while current Tar sands and shale oil surpluses are around 3-6:1. 

Our entire civilization was built on net energy surpluses in far greater excess than 25:1. It's not the Gross energy availability that counts, it's the NET and extracting shale and tar sands is very, very inefficient and energy intensive.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

What counts is the NET energy.

However, you can't teach physics to a dog, eventhough it can catch a frisbee in mid air.

trav7777's picture

Thank god some people get it.

I've been considering a "Create Content" to try to explain to the morons how peak works, but I often wonder if it's a lost cause.

NET production is all that matters.  Reserves do not.

For example, the tarsands have roughly equivalent URR to the fields in KSA.  However, the expected maximum PRODUCTION from these reserves is dramatically different.

Not ALL reserves are the same.  The tarsands are a 4-5mbpd resource, KSA's fields can or did produce probably 12 at peak.  Same reserves, 1/3 the NET production from tarsands (not even including the massive NG they burn to mobilize the bitumen).

There are fields in deepwater, such as Tupi, containing 8Bbbl URR...yet this field is expected to produce around 500kbpd at peak.  There were shore fields in this reserves class that produced at 3x that rate at peak.

Also to consider is that the deeper the water, the sooner the fields peak and the steeper the decline rate is from peak.  Given that all of our recent big finds were in deep water, we're facing a potentially catastrophic production decline globally.

Imagine how the mexicans felt when Cantarell, formerly the world #2-producing field, had a 34% YoY decline in production and now is a minor field, falling from 2.1mbpd to 500kbpd in the span of only a few years. 

tmosley's picture

That's all well and good, until some new technology comes along and makes it 90+% recoverable.

Remember Malthus?  He didn't predict the Green Revolution, and thus his idea of a peak carrying capacity of Earth was proven wrong.  All it takes is a little technology.  People are smarter than you seem to give them credit for.  Take a second to reflect upon technological advance before you resume running around screaming that the sky is falling, Chicken Little.  You're playing into the wolves' (Gore and Co) hands by doing so.

VK's picture

Well Malthus was right for 58/60 centuries. Today's agriculture is entirely powered by fossil fuels, petrochemicals and petrofertilizers. Every North American requires 10 calories of fossil fuel to consume 1 calorie of food. The energy is spent all along the supply chain - production, distribution, storage etc.

ZeroHedge and other financial sites are warning about the coming depression/ collapse and yet the MSM refers to them as chicken littles, yet we on ZH know that the shit is hitting the fan as we can analyze the fundamentals. In some ways, peak oilers are similar to those sole voices calling for the financial crisis before it hit and who were ignored by the mainstream or laughed at. 

Just because the world population has gone to 7 billion now without crashing doesn't mean the underlying fundamentals aren't dangerously bad. There are limits everywhere, we live on a finite planet with an economic system built on infinite growth. It doesn't compute. The founder of the green revolution himself Norman Borlaug had deep regrets on what he'd done as it only kicked the can down the road.

With the financial crisis, we refer to the end as the Keynesian endpoint, where we can't kick any further. Same thing with peak oil and especially NET energy. The end point is where we simply can't sustain EROEI's of greater than X:1 that civilization requires to function before downshifting dramatically.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

On Average, every North American requires 10 calories of fossil fuel to consume 1 calorie of food.

I fixed it for you.  I and mine are far, far below this number, thanks be to God. 

Uncle Remus's picture

When you and yours can feed the hungry scavenging hordes, then you're on to something.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Agreed, but there is more than one way to skin that cat.  You dig?

Uncle Remus's picture

You dig?

In my garden, yes, I do. And I am guessing that you know growing food without the aid of oil or natural gas derived nutrients or pesticides is labor and time intensive. Still, it is productive enough to provide for the laying-up of some over-winter food stuffs, albeit on the small familial scale.

tmosley's picture

Peak oil discussions tend to lead to the idea that "we" (ie the government) should impose artificial restrictions on consumption.

Such measures are not needed, and are counterproductive.  Let people use their ingenuity to come up with a solution when it becomes economical.  Shouting about the end of the world, and claiming that the only solution lies in granting power to some centralized authority is a sure way to collapse your civilization.  

Wolves used Chicken Little's fearmongering to seduce animals into the wolves' den, where it was "safe" from the falling sky.  They were subsequently devoured.

Keynesianism, AGW, and similar schemes fail because they demand that a centralized authority control the actions of the people, which is impossible.  They see all these "problems" which need their "solutions", which only wind up harming everyone.  LET THE MARKETS WORK.

EscapeKey's picture

First off, to go from the current peak of ~55% recoverable with tertiary extration methods to 90% is more than a little optimistic.

As far as new technology - granted. Something COULD turn up. But you're essentially gambling on it turning up, when in actuality, we have researched this topic for quite some time by now, and absolutely no realistic replacement of oil has been located.



tmosley's picture

Technology advances systematically when it has to, and not before.  Why devote the resources to extracting tar from sand when you can get a greater return for now from another source AND you don't have to pay Canadian taxes?

The easiest resources are used first.  Once they are gone, other resources will be accessed.  It will go on like this until a renewable resource becomes the cheapest, at which point the cycle slows or stops.  If other, cheaper resources are discovered, there will be a transition to utilize those.  This is the way markets work.  Government interference is perfectly capable of taking the most accessible resource in the world and making it unprofitable, which is what has happened in this country, and on a much more widespread basis than jsut oil, or even just energy.  This is the same reason our industrial base has fled for the third world.

EscapeKey's picture

That doesn't consider the fact that a move from one resource quality to the next best might cause issue during the transition. It also fails to consider going to an economy entirely based on electricity would require the grid to be seriously upgraded.

In the Western World, I believe the figure of overall energy we have the capacity to transport in our existing electricity grid is somewhere in the region of 12% of total energy consumed. The upgrade would cost trillions, and go through natural resources (copper, especially) like there's no tomorrow, causing prices to skyrocket.

tmosley's picture

If it is done naturally, the cheapest method will be employed.  If trillions are required, it won't be done.  If it cost that much to upgrade the grid, solar panels will simply be deployed throughout the nation at a much lesser cost (systems that use organic components and no rare materials are available).

There may be a transition period, but it won't be like they have to cut the power to the whole world, build the new infrastructure, and then turn it back on 50 years later.  You can have roads that are shared between electrical and gas power vehicles.  You can have homes that have a couple of solar panels, or even a solar water heater, while still being hooked to the grid.  The people will convert themselves if energy goes too high.  All YOU and the government have to do is stay out of the way.  Don't try to subsidize utilities, or green power manufacturers, or anyone else.  Then the most efficient system will be the cheapest, and will be naturally selected by the market.  There is no need to run around like your hair is on fire screaming about peak oil, any more than there was a need for the person in the 1800's to do the same screaming about peak lumber.  Lumber is pretty well done as a power source, but the world didn't freeze to death in the transition, did it?

DaveyJones's picture

But it wasn't. You're using textbook solutions not reality. We spent a lot of transition money and oil on wars, whores and bankers drawers

Citxmech's picture

It keeps going until the price won't justify the decreasing marginal returns that keep coming back.  Scientific revolutions do happen - but betting our future that we'll always come up with something will end up being a losing bet someday.  To believe otherwise is to, once again, believe in perpetual growth.

trav7777's picture

Listen, bub, I can't pretend to respect the commentary of ignorants like you.

Let's reflect on technological advance, then.

The US peaked in 1970.  FORTY YEARS' worth of technological advance has not and CANNOT reverse that.

You don't have a fucking clue why 90% vs 50% URR is UTTERLY and COMPLETELY irrelevant to what I just said, so do us a favor and shut up!

Fuck Malthus, Fuck Gore, fuck the AGW people, and while I'm up, fuck you too!

Peak oil has ZERO to do with Al fucking Gore.  Peak was theorized by HUBBERT in the 1950s, you douche.

All it takes is a little technology...fuck, man, in the face of this kinda cornucopian dreamworld fantasizing, what the fuck can REALITY do?  How bout we all just simultaneously wish upon a fucking star?

People are not smarter than I give them credit for, as I do not suffer from the Downing Effect.  I can give a highly accurate estimate of intelligence and find yours sorely wanting...sad, but true.  Leave the hard things like thinking and coming up with that "technological miracle" that permits infinite exponential growth to us big brains, okie?


Hephasteus's picture

Simultaneous star wishing.

Lets do this!!

DaveyJones's picture

wolves are also the ones who assure the children that everything is fine. Here have some candy

grunion's picture

I rarely make comments of a personal nature but perhaps sir,  you would get more positive attention if you weren't such a putz to others.

Real Estate Geek's picture

I've been considering a "Create Content" to try to explain to the morons how peak works . . .

Please do.  Your informative posts are presented so offensively that they're entertaining and memorable.  Although I don't have the math skills of many here, I do know that

Informative + Entertaining + Memorable = Effective 

THE 4th Quadrant's picture

I've been considering a "Create Content" to try to explain to the morons how peak works, but I often wonder if it's a lost cause.


I understand peak oil but would like to read more of your thoughts on the topic. Your efforts would be welcomed.

SheepDog-One's picture

Over the last few years, the largest oil finds ever were discovered. They just want full control of it all and prices set, with massive new taxes on you. Hey if youre so worried about peak oil go ride a fuking bicycle.

VK's picture

Peak oil discovery occurred in 1964. Today we use 4-5 barrels for every barrel we find. 

Just fucking google it.

SheepDog-One's picture

'Today we use 4-5 barrels for every barrel we find'...
Oh yea then explain maximum oil storage capacity glut!

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Over the last few years, the largest oil finds ever were discovered. -SheepDog

Data is a mother fucker:

Sorted by size, descending order.  We must have different understandings of the words, "over the last few years."

Ghawar Field               Saudi Arabia  1948[4]  1951[4]                 2005[5], disputed[6]       75-83[7][8]     5[9]       8% per year[citation needed]

Oseberg                        Norway          1979     1988                   2.2              3.78          

Bolivar Coastal Field   Venezuela      1917                                30-32[8]       2.6-3[8]      

Fyodorovskoye Field   West Siberia, Russia  1971   1974                           11              1.9 (197x)   

Burgan Field                Kuwait           1938     1948   2005[10]    66-72[11][8]   1.7[12]         14% per year[citation needed]

Rumaila Field               Iraq                1953                                17[18]           1.3[18]        

Prudhoe Bay                United States, Alaska           1969                           1998 [23]     13    0.9       11% per year[citation needed]

Samotlor Field              West Siberia, Russia  1965   1969        1980[21]       14-16        .844 [22]        (cum. depletion: 73%) [22]

Ahwaz Field                 Iran                1958                1970s[19]   10.1            .700[20]       Expected to surpass original peak due to new gas injection.[2]

Priobskoye field           West Siberia, Russia  1982   2000                           13              0.680 (2008)            14% depleted, Production rapidly expanding.[24]

Cantarell Field              Mexico           1976     1981   2004[15]    35[8], 18 billion recoverable  .580 [16]            peaked in 2004 at 2.14 million barrels per day (340,000 m3/d)[16]

Tengiz Field                 Kazakhstan    1979     1993   2010        15-26[8]       .53[8]          Expanding from 285k to 1.3 m bpd[1]

Majnoon Field              Iraq                                                        11-20[18]      .5[18]          

Kirkuk Field                 Iraq                1927     1934                   8.5              .480          

Abqaiq Field                Saudi Arabia                                          12               0.43[25]      

Romashkino Field        Volga-Ural, Russia     1948   1949        in decline    16-17        .301 (2006) [22]         cum. depletion: 85% [22]

Agha Jari Field             Iran                1937                                8.7              .200          

West Qurna Field         Iraq                                                        15-21 [18]     0.18-.25 (pot.)*civil war [18]    

Lyantorskoye field       West Siberia, Russia  1966   1979                           13              0.168 (2004) [22]       cum. depletion: 81% [22]

Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha Field Ecuador (Yasuni National Park)                                              ~ 1 [3]              

Ferdows/Mound/Zagheh Field           Iran      2003                                      7-9 (38 Gb resource)[13]            

Sugar Loaf field           Brazil             2007                                25-40[14]                        Not yet developed

Azadegan field             Iran                2004                                26[17]                            

Tupi Field                     Santos Basin, Brazil   2007                                      5-8                   

Safaniya-Khafji Field   Saudi Arabia/Neutral Zone   1951                                             30               

Esfandiar Field             Iran                                                        30                                

Shaybah Field              Saudi Arabia                                          15                                

Serir Field                     Libya             1961                                12 (6.5 billion recoverable)             

Chicontepec Field        Mexico           1926                                6.5 [16] (19 certified)[26]        

Berri Field                    Saudi Arabia                                          12                                

Zakum Field                 Abu Dhabi, UAE       1965[27]               1967                             12               



Ben Fleeced's picture

Rueters June 10, 2009

...Guará offshore discovery could have two billion barrels of crude and gas. When this is added to the Tupi and Lara fields  recently found by the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, the total yield could be close to 12 billion barrels. It has been years since deposits of this size have been found anywhere.

Read more: Brazil Finds The Largest New Oil Fields In The World - 24/7 Wall St.

Does this count?


hedgeless_horseman's picture

Does this count?

Only time will tell.  And that is the problem, time.  How long until the first billion is produced (2013 at the earliest), and then how much can be produced per month to meet ongoing demand?  Not nearly enough, and not nearly fast enough; it is like a company with a solid balance sheet, but will never have a positive cash flow.

Sorry, I didn't invent the math. 

ZackAttack's picture

Yes, use a billion barrels per year, discover three billion-barrel fields in the last 42 years. This ends well.

Pladizow's picture




All should Watch:

Hulk's picture

Math error. we use a billion barrels of oil every 11.74 DAYS...

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Thank goodness, you showed up.  What took you so long?  Us Cretins have been holding off the horde for hours, with Trav7777 on point, of all people!