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The Peak of the Oil Age - Analyzing the world oil production Reference Scenario in World Energy Outlook 2008

  • Aleklett, Kjell
  • Höök, Mikael
  • Jakobsson, Kristofer
  • Lardelli, Michael
  • Snowden, Simon
  • Söderbergh, Bengt

The assessment of future global oil production presented in the IEA's World Energy Outlook 2008 (WEO 2008) is divided into 6 fractions; four relate to crude oil, one to non-conventional oil, and the final fraction is natural-gas-liquids (NGL). Using the production parameter, depletion-rate-of-recoverable-resources, we have analyzed the four crude oil fractions and found that the 75Â Mb/d of crude oil production forecast for year 2030 appears significantly overstated, and is more likely to be in the region of 55Â Mb/d. Moreover, analysis of the other fractions strongly suggests lower than expected production levels. In total, our analysis points to a world oil supply in 2030 of 75Â Mb/d, some 26Â Mb/d lower than the IEA predicts. The connection between economic growth and energy use is fundamental in the IEA's present modelling approach. Since our forecast sees little chance of a significant increase in global oil production, our findings suggest that the "policy makers, investors and end users" to whom WEO 2008 is addressed should rethink their future plans for economic growth. The fact that global oil production has very probably passed its maximum implies that we have reached the Peak of the Oil Age.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 1398-1414

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:1398-1414
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. de Castro, Carlos & Miguel, Luis Javier & Mediavilla, Margarita, 2009. "The role of non conventional oil in the attenuation of peak oil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1825-1833, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Soderbergh, Bengt & Robelius, Fredrik & Aleklett, Kjell, 2007. "A crash programme scenario for the Canadian oil sands industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1931-1947, March.
  4. Hirsch, Robert L., 2008. "Mitigation of maximum world oil production: Shortage scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 881-889, February.
  5. Jakobsson, Kristofer & Söderbergh, Bengt & Höök, Mikael & Aleklett, Kjell, 2009. "How reasonable are oil production scenarios from public agencies?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4809-4818, November.
  6. Höök, Mikael & Aleklett, Kjell, 2008. "A decline rate study of Norwegian oil production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4262-4271, November.
  7. Bentley, R. W., 2002. "Global oil & gas depletion: an overview," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 189-205, February.
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