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Regional Oil Extraction and Consumption: A Simple Production Model for the Next 35 years Part I

Michael Dittmar ()
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Michael Dittmar: Institute of Particle Physics, ETH

Biophysical Economics and Resource Quality, 2016, vol. 1, issue 1, 1-19

Abstract: Abstract The growing conflicts in and about oil-exporting regions and speculations about volatile oil prices during the last decade have renewed the public interest in predictions for the near future oil production and consumption. Unfortunately, studies from only 10 years ago, which tried to forecast the oil production during the next 20–30 years, failed to make accurate predictions for today’s global oil production and consumption. Forecasts using economic growth scenarios overestimated the actual oil-equivalent liquid production, while models which tried to estimate the maximum future conventional and unconventional oil production/year, using official and public country reserve data and/or private oil industry oil reserve databases, often underestimated the current conventional oil production in some larger oil-producing countries. In this paper, a new approach to model the maximal future regional and thus global oil production (part I) and the consequences for the regional oil consumption (part II) during the next decades is proposed. Our analysis of the regional oil production data during past decades shows that, in contrast to periods when production was growing and growth rates varied greatly from one country to another, remarkable similarities are found during the plateau and decline periods of different countries. As a result, we propose to model the oil production decline phase in all oil-producing regions with a universal decline function which assumes that a few years with a stable production will be followed by about 5 years with a 3 %/year decline and 6 %/year afterwards. This plateau and decline function was found to describe accurately the oil production of the past 15 years from Western Europe (EU+Norway), Mexico and Indonesia. Following this model, the particular production phase of each major oil-producing country and region is determined essentially only from the recent past oil production data. Accordingly, we find that the conventional oil production in all regions, outside of the Middle East OPEC countries, will start the 3 %/year decline phase between the years 2015 and 2020. Using these data, the model is then used to predict the production from all major oil-producing countries, regions and continents up to the year 2050. The limited regional and global potential to compensate this decline with unconventional oil and oil-equivalents is also presented.

Keywords: After the oil peak; Regional oil production and consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1007/s41247-016-0007-7

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