Thursday, December 18, 2008

Predicting Future Supply from Undiscovered Oil

The amount of danger presented by the peak oil scenario depends on the future decline in oil production. That is, the peak oil scenario says (based on observations from around the world) that after some point of oil extraction and production the worlds oil production will inevitably enter a decline and that once world oil production begins to decline no way will it ever increase.

The timing of this decline depends on future oil discoveries. The more oil discovered in the future the further out into the future will be the peak, and hence the longer we have to find a solution. But it's rather difficult to accurately predict the future such as future oil discoveries, obviously.

The various estimates of when the oil peak occurs are all based on estimates of this prediction, what is the amount of future oil discovery.

For example: Between 1995 and 2005, nearly 110 Gb of conventional oil and NGL have been discovered. A reasonable, but optimistic, scenario is to assume that this pattern of discovery will remain the same for the next 22 years. However they go on to say this is an unreasonable assumption because it's more likely that the rate of discovery will also decline over time.

Specifically the world peak of oil discovery occurred in 1964 and has been declining ever since.

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