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Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on world oil production

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  • Höök, Mikael
  • Hirsch, Robert
  • Aleklett, Kjell

Abstract

The most important contributors to the world's total oil production are the giant oil fields. Using a comprehensive database of giant oil field production, the average decline rates of the world's giant oil fields are estimated. Separating subclasses was necessary, since there are large differences between land and offshore fields, as well as between non-OPEC and OPEC fields. The evolution of decline rates over past decades includes the impact of new technologies and production techniques and clearly shows that the average decline rate for individual giant fields is increasing with time. These factors have significant implications for the future, since the most important world oil production base - giant fields - will decline more rapidly in the future, according to our findings. Our conclusion is that the world faces an increasing oil supply challenge, as the decline in existing production is not only high now but will be increasing in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Höök, Mikael & Hirsch, Robert & Aleklett, Kjell, 2009. "Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on world oil production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2262-2272, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:6:p:2262-2272
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Höök, Mikael & Aleklett, Kjell, 2008. "A decline rate study of Norwegian oil production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4262-4271, November.
    2. Gowdy, John & Juliá, Roxana, 2007. "Technology and petroleum exhaustion: Evidence from two mega-oilfields," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1448-1454.
    3. Meng, Q.Y. & Bentley, R.W., 2008. "Global oil peaking: Responding to the case for ‘abundant supplies of oil’," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1179-1184.
    4. Hirsch, Robert L., 2008. "Mitigation of maximum world oil production: Shortage scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 881-889, February.
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