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Thursday, February 16, 2006

World Oil Production Peaked on December 16, 2005

Professor Kenneth Deffeyes
Professor Ken Deffeyes is a geologist and professor emeritus at Princeton. He has been studying world petroleum production data for many years and has come to the conclusion that the world hit peak oil production last December 16, 2005.

Professor Deffeyes has used the methodology of Dr. Marion King Hubbert to make this bold prediction.

In 1956, M. King Hubbert predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970's. Although Mr. Hubbert was widely criticized by some oil experts and economists, in 1971 his prediction came true. 1971 was the year that U.S. oil production peaked and it has been declining ever since.

If Professor Deffeyes is correct, total world oil production will never surpass what was produced just this last December (two months ago).

World Peak Oil Production - Dec. 16, 2005

Professor Deffeyes' latest article from Feb. 11th:

In the January 2004 Current Events on this web site, I predicted that world oil production would peak on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005. In hindsight, that prediction was in error by three weeks. An update using the 2005 data shows that we passed the peak on December 16, 2005.

"A decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires" that I present an update on the data sources and the interpretation.

1. The underlying methodology is Hubbert's postulate that the rate of new oil discoveries depends on the fraction of the oil that has not yet been discovered. Similarly, the rate of oil production depends on the fraction of oil that has not yet been produced. A test of Hubbert's hypothesis, using the long history of US oil production, is on pages 35—42 of my book Beyond Oil. An algebraic result from the Hubbert theory says that the production rate peaks when half of the oil has been produced....

Compared to 2004, world oil production was up 0.8 percent in 2005, nowhere near enough to compensate for a demand rise of roughly 3 percent. The high prices did not bring much additional oil out of the ground. Most oil-producing countries are in decline...

That's it. I can now refer to the world oil peak in the past tense. My career as a prophet is over. I'm now an historian.

Is The Oil End Game Here? [TJN]
Oil Shortage Looming? [TJN]
Hubbert Peak of Oil Production

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