Will the Sydney Morning Herald tell the truth about oil?
2 June 2005
Robert Whitehead, editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, went on
a crusade. The paper presented us with a Sydney-in-crisis that we experience
every day: water restrictions, high cost of land and homes, pollution,
public transport in disarray, clogged roads, increasing energy consumption,
you name it.
But growth must go on, it seems.
therefore be interesting to watch whether the SMH will manage to confront
us with what is along with the water resource problem
our most serious limiting factor: declining Australian oil production
and the global oil peak.
a continuing (and unenlightening) debate about remaining oil reserves
and resources. The Heralds April article Running on empty
(By Christopher Kremmer, 02/04/05) was as non-committal as last weeks
publication of the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics
(BTRE) Working Paper Number 61 entitled Is the world running out
of oil? A review of the debate. If you thought the paper would
give you some sort of answer youd be disappointed.
detailed and methodologically reliable analysis of the oil supply situation
for the approaching years comes from Chris Skrebowski, member of the
London based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) and editor of the
professional oil and gas journal Petroleum Review.
2004, with a daily production of 82.4 million barrels, as the base year
for which there was virtually no spare capacity. From now on, he calculates,
every new oilfield project coming on stream must both offset decline
in existing fields and provide for the expected demand growth.
2004, 18 oil supplying countries are in decline at 1.1 million barrels/day
per year. In the coming years, this group of declining countries will
be joined by six more accelerating the rate of decline to 1.6
megabarrels per day, per year, by 2009. This decline acts as if it were
new demand in the worlds oil market.
keeps a database with new oilfield projects, their scheduled start-up
years, together with daily production capacities and proven reserves.
A list of these projects was published in the April issue of Petroleum
Review. When comparing the new capacities year by year with decline
figures and demand growth, there are three important conclusions:
1. In the next three years to 2008, the new oilfields can hardly provide
for a demand growth of 2 per cent per annum. If there is project slippage
or any other disturbance, and 2 per cent were indeed the underlying
demand requirement for the whole of that period, physical oil shortages
2008, the oil production curve slips off the 2 per cent growth path
and heads downwards, forcing the world to physically reduce demand growth.
3. By around 2010, oil production turns horizontal and enters a production
plateau. Thats the start of Peak Oil.
This scenario is almost pre-programmed. Nowadays, most oil projects
are offshore and offshore oil takes six to seven years from discovery
to production of the first drop of oil. So even if a major discovery
happened today, it would hardly affect the situation over the next five
to seven years.
At present, ODACs forward-looking oilfield project list ends in
2012 but will no doubt be updated regularly. You can get these by visiting
the web site of the Energy Institute (www.energyinstitute.org.uk) where
youll find Chris Skrebowskis monthly editorials or by reading
the Petroleum Review in the NSW State Library.
SEE ALSO >>>
not running out of oil
(but were running out of time to
prepare for Peak Oil)
10 May 2005
Sydney civil engineer MATT MUSHALIK takes a cool, rational, look at
the worlds rapidly-approaching energy crisis.
a week passes without media reports on rising petrol prices and tight
oil supplies. Often the impression is given that were dealing
with a temporary coincidence of unrelated events and that oil prices
will go back to normal. Few of these articles analyse the
situation in enough detail to explain the root cause the successive
and continuous peaking of oil production in many oil producing countries.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>