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 Presentations to USA (NPC) Nat'l Petroleum Council's Global Oil & Gas Study by Freddy Hutter (TrendLines)

 2007/2/23 & 2007/8/24 [New!] Click Here for my August 24th 2007 Teleconference (PowerPoint) Presentation

Welcome to the TrendLines website.  After today's presentation, feel free to browse our Energy & Climate related venues for our current graphs and comments:


Copyright Notice  ~  Latest update of this page:  http://TrendLines.ca/npc.htm


Supply Task Force Outreach Teleconference, Nat'l Petroleum Council's Global Oil & Gas Study
[New!]Click Here for my August 24th 2007 Teleconference (PowerPoint) Presentation

February 23rd 2007 Participants:

Steve Andrews – Assoc for Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO/USA)

Albert Bartlett – Univ of Colorado

Colin Campbell – ASPO/Ireland

Robert Hirsh – Science Applications Int'l

Freddy Hutter – TrendLines Market Research - Yukon  Canada

Jean Laherrère – ASPO/France

Douglas Low – Oil Depletion Analysis Centre - UK

Ron Swenson - OilCrisis.com website

March 1st 2007 Participants:

Roscoe Bartlett – USA Congress, with Lisa Wright & John Darrell

Roger Bentley – Univ of Reading - UK

Mark Gaffigan – Gov't Accountability Office

Richard Heinberg – Post Carbon Institute

Matt Simmons – Simmons and Company Int'l

Randy Udall – ASPO/USA

March 13th 2007 Participants:

Peter Jackson - CERA

Michael Lynch – Strategic Energy & Economic Research

Ken Medlock - Rice Univ

Haines Junction, The Yukon,  Canada  ~  2007/2/23  (revised 2007/3/13 & 2007/6/09)

Freddy Hutter, TrendLines:


As well as monitoring Climate Change trends via the IPCC 2007 AR4 and current science, one of our research methodologies at TrendLines is the the compiling of the studies of others and searching for averages and trends within that body of work.  We have used this strategy to provide reasonably accurate projections for Political Party Riding Projections in Canada and the Electoral College Votes in the USA Election.  Since 2004, we have extended this practice to present unique views of the 16 long term Supply Outlooks & the 18 Estimates of URR:



I will discuss our Depletion Scenarios Graph (#1) later in this presentation.


Looking at our URR Estimates graph (#2) first, the Average result reveals the following: 

URR Compilation - 18 Estimates (as at 2007/2/24)

TrendLines AVG:   3298-Gb

Past Consumption:  1107-Gb

Net:  2191-Gb

The range of these 18 estimates runs from the lowest URR estimate of 2184-Gb by OPEC to the highest estimate of 5807-Gb by Saudi Aramco.  OPEC's entry raises questions of political influence, whereas with Saudi Aramco's effort, we must ponder whether it meets all manner of due diligence by bona fide geologists.  This presentation has foundations in our database of 19 URR Estimates (incl MK Hubbert) with some stats going back a full century.

The most controversial of the Estimates included is no doubt that produced by the USGS in Y2k.  In the light of day however, TrendLines sees little merit to the immediate flack it attracted in the petroleum and nat'l gas sector.  We discovered that their bold prediction is being borne out by the facts.  I will insert herein a brief summary of our recent findings:

Feb 24th, 2007 - The USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000 has borne the brunt of harsh criticism for its bold forecast that Available Future Resource (AFR or Reserve/Resource Growth + Discoveries) would increase by 1669-Gb or 54-Gb/Yr by 2025 from its base year of '95.  This estimate for increase was a hectic 75% greater than the URR growth pace of 31-Gb/Yr (2.4%) from 1957 to 1994.  Well, the authors have vindication with TrendLines URR AVG indicating of average annual growth from 1995 to present of 106-Gb/Yr (4.2%).  This is literally double their goal (over triple the past trend) and no doubt attributable to Real Prices exceeding the long standing $20-30/barrel spot price band shortly after the Asian Flu slowdown of 1998.

While the USGS Report was blasted as being exaggerative, many misinterpreted its intent.  Whereas many challenged its URR of 3345-Gb, the Report actually stated that Reserves and past Consumption totalled 1676-Gb as of Jan 1st 1995; and that there was a best efforts estimate of 1669-Gb in Available Future Resource.  If we examine the indicated TrendLines URR AVG of the applicable period, it is revealed that the consensus URR at end-1994 was 1924-Gb and only a very few of the Estimates included a "future" component.  This is line with the USGS base year when stripped of its "future" component. In that light, it is reasonable that the USGS figure of 1676-Gb would be slightly lower (248-Gb) than that the consensus figure of 1924-Gb.  That being said, the AFR of USGS was tenfold larger than for comparison, Colin Campbell's "future discoveries" component of 157-Gb in Y2k.

None-the-less, by the end of December 2006, the TrendLines URR AVG was 3288-Gb, an increase of 1364-Gb over twelve years.  At this rate of growth, not only is the USGS projection (3345-Gb) for 2025 coming to fruition, but it seems to be somewhat understated.  The 12 year growth rate of URR AVG from 1995 to 2006 has been 114-Gb/yr.  <Note that this rate is slightly higher than than the 106-Gb for the Feb/2007 status shown in the above graph.  See footnotes for the year-end tally>

To add credibility to the studies of USGS & EIA/DOE, it is timely that TrendLines has recently done a reality check "look back" at the old 1996/1997 forecasts for global Supply.  EIA is often ridiculed for its overly optimistic Outlooks.  But in a comparison of the projections of that era, it is seen that the EIA/DOE 1997 Outlook was the third best of the time foreseeing a 2006 extraction rate of 76-mbd (in fact 2006 was 85-mbd).  BTW, only Michael Lynch (84) & IEA (80) had better accuracy on that particular metric.  Clearly, these USA Gov't agencies are prudent in their Outlooks.


1)  For the purposes of this USGS Petroleum Assessment 2000 analysis, please be advised that the graph notation has been amended to reflect the change in growth rate from "1995" rather than our previous ("from Y2k") presentations.

2)  Revised Status as of Jan 1st 2007:   URR AVG - 3288-Gb  ~  Past Consumption - 1102-Gb  ~  URR Less Past - 2186-Gb

3)  Visit the URR Venue of our website for complete footnotes, definitions & methodology of our URR Estimates presentation.

At this time, i'd like to review two relevant recent presentation graphics by Bill Ramsay of the IEA.  He illustrates (in graph #3) the price points where non-conventional oils become economically feasible with ultimately recoverable resource tally of 5500-Gb when prices attain the $70/barrel threshold:

graph3 (credit IEA)

This results in his general interpretation (in graph #4) that with each $5/barrel change in avg contract crude prices, there is reliable evidence that global stakeholders are attributing a 100-Gb revision to global URR:


While this is simplified, in the real world, what happens is that as prices rise, Discovered Sub-commercial are moved (see graph #5) within the virtual domain of Oil Initially in Place (OIIP - estimated to be in the 7-Tb to 17-Tb range) from Contingent Resources on the NOC & IOC ledgers to 3P Reserves.  This action is taken when the price point of Contingent and/or Prospective Resources comes within the upper limit of Future Prices on their 20 to 25 year Outlooks.

As time passes and Real Prices rise, it allows Oilco's to move some 3P Reserves to the 2P column.  And eventually, with time, higher Real Prices and technological advances, some 2P Reserves are shifted to the 1P Reserve category.  It is at that precise time that annual revised Reserve announcements are made public by recognized URR providers such as BP, OGJ, WorldOil & API albeit some Oilco's may have already made their own press releases.

graph5 (credit API)

The USGS Assessment & recent presentations by Bill Ramsay of the IEA have together lay out the new paradigm unfolding in this new Millennium.  During the last half of the 20th Century, URR grew at 31-Gb/yr.  The movement to a new real price regime has afforded URR to grow at 106-Gb/yr.  We are watching URR growth of roughly 100-Gb per $5/barrel increase in contract prices.  BTW, TrendLines monitors avg contract prices via EIA's Financial Reporting System (FRS), not Spot prices, which are heavily influenced by speculative and weather related activity.  Daily Spot prices historically run 6% to 28% above weekly contract prices and are highly unreliable for fundamental and technical analysis.  From 1999's $12 real price to today's $52, we have passed thru 8 five-buck increments.  That would indicate about 800-gb of new URR.  In fact, URR has grown 1200-Gb (150-Gb/$5 per barrel increment) in that time frame, based on TrendLines study of URR Estimate averages.  With adjustments for inflation and currency exchange, the Ramsay/IEA target has been both accurate and prudent from a back tested perspective.

Thru Discoveries, reserve growth and resource growth, it is apparent in viewing our Presentation that URR has doubled since 1986.  While there is horror expressed by Imminent Peak Oil Theorists that large Discoveries have evaporated, it is none-the-less evident that the annual BP Reserve to Production Ratio has been consistently 40-Years for over two decades.  With annual consumption of 23 to 31-Gb over that period, logic would lead us to expect Reserves to be dropping by that amount with each annual announcement and a similar decrease by one-year of the R/P Ratio.  But the reverse is true.  The Reserves are instead rising.  Again, this is a reflection of significant Reserve/Resource Growth.

It is this background that justifies the seemingly over optimistic URR estimates today of 4-Tb, 5-Tb & near 6-Trillion Barrels.  And it is precisely these high URR's that are the foundation for some of the long term outlooks of Peak Oil Depletion.


This brings us back to graph #1Our Peak Scenarios compilation reconciles the future production estimates by agencies, Oilco's and analysts with their own or adopted measures of URR.  In short, each Scenario's Outlook for Peak Date, Peak Rate and Decline has an area under the curve that matches its attributed URR in Billions of barrels.  Again, it ranges from OPEC's (2184-Gb URR) conservative Outlook with a 10-mbd exhaustion in 2059 to Saudi Aramco's (5807-Gb URR) exhaustion in 2160.  Also shown for historical context are our initial portrayals of MK Hubbert's 1956 (1250-Gb URR) 34-mbd and 1976 (2000-Gb URR) 110-mbd efforts.  The presentation includes the only valid pre-2010 Peak Date Outlook, Samsam Bakhtiari's WOCAP-2003 with its (surpassed) 81-mbd Peak Rate; and the best of the 1996 Outlooks from our archives, Michael Lynch's 112-mbd Peak Rate in 2020.  It has extraordinary current accuracy with its predicting an 84-mbd Supply rate for 2006 (actually 85-mbd) ten years ago.

My current version below has an Average that predicts a Peak Rate of 95-mbd in 2020.  The inherent danger in using an average of two or more methodologies is that it is likely one or the other will be correct ... not the average.  An analogy used by Mike Lynch is the debate over the age of Earth.  If one believes Creationists, the age of our planet is 4000 years.  If Evolutionists are correct, the age is over 4 billion years.  Most will agree that taking an average of those two positions would be folly.  While this could also be the case with the Peak Oil camps, my current position is that the evidence of trackable revisions within both theories leads to a belief that convergence is immanent.  That occurrence is not reflected by the average either.  Until the rate of revisions diminishes by one camp or the other, it presently is headed for a Peak Rate of 105-mbd in 2014.  Perhaps we can marry the Averaging method with the converging revisions method:  100-mbd Peak Rate in 2017?  Permutations and combinations boggle the mind!!

Nobody can say for sure how high Peak Rate will go.  The good news is that whenever it is, present Estimates of URR indicate that the Decline Rate will be slow and manageable throughout the Post Peak Decline era ... approx 2.3% per annum:


Currently including 16 Outlooks, this graph is updated monthly with fresh info from the modellers within.  Please visit the Scenarios Venue of our website for background, footnotes & past versions.  Altho commenced in 2004, our archive of past Outlooks goes back to 1956 with M King Hubbert;  IEA's World Energy Outlooks (WEO) of the 80's;  and the initial Colin Campbell effort of 1991.  This long term rear window  perspective is likewise insightful.  I initiated this presentation with the objectives of:

(a)  allowing a visual comparison of current Outlooks

(b)  reconciling each Outlook with URR

(c)  promote scrutiny by analysts, media, stakeholders, policy makers, govt's & peers ... that causes questions, comments and criticism that initiates a sharing and correction of information that results in a continual merging of the scenarios

Analysis of the past reveals that the pessimistic camp is upward revising at an avg rate of under 2-mbd per year (see graph #8).  OTOH, the optimistic camp is downward revising at an avg 3-mbd annually.  TrendLines has also been proactive in its own criticism, especially at the high end.  As an example, armed with frank disclosure by Saudi Aramco at CSIS-2004 of its current business plan preference for a fifty year production plateau at a 10 to 15-mbd Maximum Sustainable Capacity (MSC), i was publicly critical of EIA especially in its continued portrayal of Saudi Arabia with much higher production rates. 

It was quite satisfying to see EIA, IEA and others revise down their Peak Rates by 10-mbd in subsequent version updates.

The merging continues...


< graph7 (Lynch)

graph8 (Lynch) >


The consistency of both these revisions allows us some level of confidence in applying extrapolations.  The methodology of the bottom-up modellers seems to forever show a Peak that is only five years away.  This is likely due to the fact that infrastructure announcements and implementation are often multi year events.  It often appears that a cliff is six to nine years away because the exploration, the discoveries, the technology, the funding and thus the announcements "have not yet" been made.  Revisions are inherent in the methodology.

On the long term optimist camp, it has been practice to construct the Demand/Supply figures for 20 or thirty years out by basing them on population and Real GDP Growth forecasts.  Historically, Demand has grown close to a 0.6 factor of Real GDP.  Fortunately, many Outlooks today include a breakdown by type of oil and/or geographic province that allows scrutiny of the realistic nature of those calls.  I have mentioned already common practice of over estimating the Saudi Arabia component within future Outlooks.  This is an area that can increasingly measure the higher 2020 to 2030 projections.

Another concern i have for the optimistic camp Outlooks is their reliance on grandiose URR estimates.  A large part of those "bigger and better" URR's is the non-conventional oils component.  Using IEA as an example, it's URR (and Scenario Outlook) is based on 800-Gb of Heavy Oil Bitumen and 1060-Gb of Shale Oil over the period.  While on the surface and from an economic standpoint this seems logical, unfortunately the Peak Rate is a phenomenon based on flow rates.

While the Hubbert Curve Theory has presented that the midpoint crossover of URR is usually also the highest year of extraction, it is not yet proved scientifically that non-conventional oils will exhibit that same mirrored profile.  Non-conventional oils present challenges in areas of exploration, production, capital, cost and co2 emissions.  Studies by Jean Laherrère and others suggest that the future will unfold with two peaks:  one for conventional oil in possibly 2012 and one for non-conventional oil around 2065.  This would indicate that the Peak Date and Peak Rate of All Liquids is a harmonic of the two components.

Just as Conventional oil's Peak Date & Rate is a harmonic of the globe's or a province's family of fields (see graph 7), the All Liquids Peak will be a harmonic of conventional oil, non-conventional oil, synthetics and biofuels.  This is best illustrated in the Jean Laherrère graph (#8) where the 4-Tb All Liquids Ultimate (dashed purple line) is a harmonic of conventional crude (green line) and non-conventional (liquids minus EH or extra-heavy dashed orange line).  In short, rather than the prospect of non-conventionals raising the Peak Rate, they are more likely to only extend the undulating plateau and extend the Decline (as shown by the dashed green line).  A conservative compromise is the a 3-Tb All Liquids Ultimate represented by the dashed aqua line:

graph7 graph8



With the timely release of the UN's IPCC AR4 this month, my personal research and tracking of Climate Change issues forces me to briefly summarize this subject and convey the relevance of Peak Oil with respect to carbon dioxide emissions.

For the last million years, Earth has been in a glacial cycle that is orbital forced and known as the Milankovich Cycle.  It is about 175,000 yrs and is one of about seven orbital and solar cycles that have major effects on Earth's temp. The harmonics of those cycles determines whether the amplitudes are high or low.  Volcanoes also play a minor part.  In the graph below, it is seen that as the temp drops as each glaciation progresses and sea levels drop 125 metres (400') due to lack of melt water, the lowered ocean volume/temp/volume impedes the absorption of co2 (which increases in the atmosphere) and allows ocean bed methane hydrates to percolate to the surface and into the atmosphere as well.  These co2/methane bombs occur very quickly and bring an immediate end to the ice age cycle and an interglacial era commences.  The mid latitude glaciers melt, the oceans rise back to normal levels and the temp commences a slow steady decline as the cycle repeats.

But in 1977, normality of nature was altered by Human activity.  Scientists found evidence of ozone depletion over the South Pole and their alerts to the global community resulted in the Montreal Protocol and a worldwide effort to reduce CFC emissions into the atmosphere.  Today the ozone hole is manageable and emissions are reduced to less than 1950 levels.

The CFC episode caused scientists to keep an avid vigil on atmospheric health and it was shortly noticed that GHG emissions, particularly co2 (carbon dioxide) & ch4 (methane) were increasing dramatically rather than continuing their normal down cycle within an interglacial period.  Similarly, temp was increasing rather than falling as had been the general case for 8,000 years.  While methane has stabilized and is in fact dropping, co2 is increasing in a correlation with fossil fuel burning.  The graph below illustrates the extraordinary exponential growth of co2 & methane over the last three decades:

  fig 5

The challenge is for the USA, Europe, China, India & ROW community to expand on the Herculean effort to resolve the CFC danger and apply that same success in efforts to combat GHG emissions:

  fig 6

The undeniable culprits are our dependence on fossil fuels.  They have allowed modern continents to "go forth and multiply" and allow progress of our cultures, but we are presently finding out the potential terrible cost that must now be mitigated:

  fig 7

Research by Jim Hansen of NASA indicates that the chances of holding Earth to a 1C temp rise with a 450-ppm limit on co2 is quite slim.  Holding temp's under 3C by 2100 with a 585-ppm co2 limit depends on oil & gas production attaining a plateau mode and "stretching reserves" rather than evolution of the conventional peak and decline model.  Fortunately, this scenario is based on the liberal reserve base and reserve growth of oil and gas within the USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000.  That was 1676-gb Oil Reserves and about 669-Gb of Reserve Growth.  Natural Gas is similarly USGS defined.  For coal, Hansen uses the even more liberal IPCC estimation of proven reserves rather than that of EIA.

The graph below also addresses the 1000-Gb of reserve attributed to non-conventional Oil.  By Hansen's calculations, the 585-ppm co2 limit is maintained by burning only conventional oil and natural gas reserves and and the allowance for reserve growth.  The study assumes that all emissions from non-conventional oil (heavy/tar sands), nat'l gas (methane hydrates) & post 2010 coal plants will be sequestered:

  fig 8

Sea level rose 20-cm (8") in the 20th Century.  It will rise 35-cm (14") in the 21st Century.  And another 55cm (22") by 2300.  Today's co2 level of 381-ppm will be 585 by 2100 as Global Temp increase 2.8-C (4-F) by the end of this Century:

 hansen 2006, nasa  (fig 9)

Earth's temp had been on a downward trend for 8,000 years:

  fig 10

And aside from the Medieval Warm Period anomaly, that pattern was consistent until the 1976 GHG anomaly as seen in this NRC revision of the former and controversial "hockey stick" presentation:

Nat'l Research Council 2006  (fig 11)

Global Growth Rate of co2 in atmosphere:

  fig 12

Methane concentrations in Barrow Alaska are amazingly level.  Main global methane emissions are from agriculture:

  fig 13

Global Growth Rate of Methane in atmosphere on downward trend:

  fig 14

There are many rumours of ocean sea level rising out-of-control.  But it's been 3mm/yr since 1993 (2.9mm in 2006):

  fig 15



In Summary today, my message to the NPC Supply Subcommittee would be:

1)  The Scenarios are merging.  Aside from its bias as a provider of URR and Supply Scenario updates itself, the EIA should acknowledge and monitor outside available studies with particular attention of harmonics that may be in play on a secondary peak for non-conventional oil.

2)  Many nations seem to be neglecting to pass on accurate annual Reserve figures.  This may result in a false sense of confidence in oil short and medium term global Supply and Imports.  Constant vigilance is required in case the situation changes quickly and mitigation legislation, regulations and emergency procedures should be in place.  In particular, consider fast tracking of pipelines and LNG terminals.  Such endeavours will maintain the current critical mass in energy projects initiated by the high price regime early in this Century.  Further it will thwart the prevalence of pessimistic mindsets from bringing on the onset of a self-fulfilling prophesy of Peak Oil.  A negative environment could condition exploration and development firms from proceeding with projects because "maybe the pipeline isn't coming anyway".  On the matter of regulations, consideration should be given to re-implementation of maximum highway speeds in a gradual manner towards a goal of 80km/hr (e.g. - 100kph in 2010, 95 in 2015, 90 in 2020, 85 in 2025 & 80kph in 2030; subject to 3-yr reviews by Congress or the Secretary of Energy).  Conservation by driving slower is perhaps the fastest method of reducing transportation demand.

3)  Stay ahead of the curve on public relations.  During the Climate Change debate since the Kyoto Protocol discussions began, the Administration rightfully awaited the Science to unfold that would discard the well grounded belief that Global Warming the major forcing was Solar induced and that vast expenditures of taxpayer funds was not prudent in an environment where global Govt's may have been fighting long term cyclical trends.  Awaiting that Science allowed the media and special interest groups to attack the "watchful waiting" stance of current and past Administrations both in the USA and the ROW.  The EIA & other Fed'l Dept's should be more proactive in the discussions, education and outreach surrounding Peak Oil.  This is already evident by this current NPC Study.  Secretary Bodman's mandate for the Council has been specific and timely.  Don't let the results and recommendations sit sit on a shelf!!  Give the impression to the MSM that mitigation strategies are reasonable in nature and necessary.

4)  Climate Change is inevitable.  IPCC AR4 provides some degree of time for study of mitigation strategies and monitoring of current related demonstration projects and trials.  But it may be prudent to plan for a long term plateau of USA & global Supply rather than the conventional profile of a higher Peak Rate cresting curve and subsequent steep Decline.  Better to dampen Demand growth and conserve the Supply than attempt to wean consumers, institutions and businesses off dependence later.  This Planned Plateau Strategy has the benefit of easing cumulative co2 Atmospheric Emissions in two ways.  It postpones and stretches oil (and nat'l gas) usage as recommended by NASA's Jim Hansen.  And conserving of oil and gas postpones the greater tapping of coal reserves and the detriments of that action.  The longer coal reserves are conserved, the better chance of implementing clean coal technologies in future plants and retrofits.  Jim Hansen also recommends sequestering of all post-2010 coal plants and surrounding the extraction of shale oils and methane hydrates.

5)  Nuclear power generation should be promoted immediately to offset generation by diesel, nat'l gas and coal.

6)  Two aspects of global demographics are in our favour.  The aging population will dampen per capital if not absolute Demand.  And 2045 to 2050 should bring upon us an absolute peak and decrease in global population, further dampening Demand.

7)  To accommodate the eventual Decline, Federal & State Govt's should consider prioritizing petroleum and nat'l gas users in case it becomes necessary to bypass Demand Destruction market forces in order to preserve sufficient Supply for certain vulnerable or deemed essential service sectors over the short/medium/long term.  Users that have alternative options should be encouraged to wean off direct use of fossil fuels.  For example, aviation, emergency hospital/school generators, military, emergency fire/police/rescue/ambulance vehicles are just some users that may need protected sources.  OTOH, some most municipalities should perhaps be encouraged to deem new subdivision developments as no-fossil fuel zones for heating requirements (i.e. oil & nat'l gas furnaces would be banned in new homes) if it is seen that the life cycle of furnaces will outlive foreseen supply.  Water heaters and stoves using natural gas and propane may fall victim to similar bans.  This will put additional capacity on electric generation for furnace, stove & water heater use.  Solar powered water heaters and pool heaters may mitigate in some geographic regions.

8)  Take caution that price spikes are not interpreted as an indicator of Peak Oil.  Rather, the spikes in contract and spot oil prices reflect geopolitical events and often the evaporation of surplus capacity.  It would be folly to set policy on rumours of $100, $200 or $300 oil prices.  Real prices may rise with time, but Demand Destruction serves its purpose of bring "spikes" back to reality.  Oil spikes prior to the 21-day Iraq2 war in 2003 and nat'l gas spikes associated with low Spring trough levels on working gas are a model of what is common and foreseen.  There is a close correlation between surplus capacity and real prices.

9)  The proliferation of NOC's in unfriendly jurisdictions will lead to slippage in attaining global All Liquid targets.  While mercenary expats may assist local engineers and geologists, there will likely be increased inefficiencies in exploration, extraction and refining.  OPEC has resources that will provide some assistance to its members, but they will not enjoy some of the proprietary techniques normally available from the IOC network of consultants.

10)  Encourage construction of Nuclear generation of electricity.  The reality of energy production growth was realized back in 1949.  MK Hubbert foresaw Nuclear plants as the salvation in an age of declining fossil fuels.  His future is still decades away but the realities of long term planning forces policy makers to consider these options presently.  Nuclear plants have a construction timeline of 3 to 5 years, but the approvals and site plans must precede that, stretching the entire process to perhaps 4 to 7 years.  This takes us into a realm where EIA forecasts show decline in North American natural gas production.  Massive construction in Nuclear and/or LNG terminals would seem inevitable.  Public NIMBY'ism may thwart assumed timelines.

The NPC task force is doing precious work.  Congrat's on your outreach activities and i look forward to its work-in-progress and ultimate findings.

There is an abundance of information and a history of Peak Oil movement on the rest of my site.  Please go to the top of the page and click the links to browse my site.  Also remember to return occasionally to view updates of our URR & Scenarios graphs.

Freddy Hutter, TrendLines Market Research


Feel free to contact us for speaking engagements, custom research or affinity labelling of our graphs for your firm or agency.

Thanx for perusing our submission to the Nat'l Petroleum Council.  Feel free to browse the Energy & Climate related venues for TrendLines current graphs and comments:


Copyright Notice


Post Teleconference musings:   Peak Oil Celebrates 30 years of Crying Wolf !!


The following graphs are taken from our PEAK OIL HISTORY & COMMENTARY Venue where they are accompanied by some very relevant background.  While they will be nostalgic or humourous to some, i invite y'all to visit that page for a fuller perspective of the development of the Peak Oil phenomenon.





from National Geographic (1976)








Marion King Hubbert started the Peak Oil discussion with his forecasts of upcoming Peaks in the USA & globally.  For history buffs, MK Hubbert's forecasts start in 1956 (API Conference) with a forecast of a 34-mbd Peak Rate in Y2k based on a URR of 1250-Gb.  Tho in error, it did serve to commence the debate.  He went on to forecast Above in 1976 (in National Geographic) that there would be a Global Peak of 110-mbd in 1995 with a URR of 2000-Gb.  Below, a 1997 depiction by Ivanhoe for 75-mbd Peak in 2010 with 2273-Gb URR.








Above, a comparison of some early extraction projections.  The shining star is Michael Lynch ('96) with a 84-mbd forecast for 2006.  Ten years later is was actually 85-mbd!  IEA predicted 80-mbd & EIA/DOE with 76-mbd ... all three came within 10%.  The '91 target for 2006 by Colin Campbell was 50-mbd with Decline commencing in 1998 with a URR of 1650-Gb; his '97 target for 2006 was 64-mbd with decline starting in 2009 and URR of 1780-Gb.  Below, a 1900-Gb URR by Jean Laherrère in 1997 with a 2010 Peak Rate of 86-mbd.


Ten years ago, Jean Laherrère foresaw 2007 Supply of 82-mbd.  Congrat's!  The IEA says today it's 86-mbd.  Not bad, eh.


At left, one of Colin Campbell's early depictions of Peak Oil.  In 1996, a plateau was envisioned from 1998 to 2012 amid a URR of 1750-Gb.  Below, we note that by 1997 the plateau was narrowed to '99-2008 with 1780-Gb URR.


At left, we see a Campbell/Laherrère collaboration that appeared in Scientific American.  TrendLines has discovered that while the March 1998 article calls this graph their "All Liquids" version, our analysis of its URR clearly shows that its URR of 1800-Gb does not reconcile with the article's All Liquids URR of 2500-Gb but matches exactly with their Conventional estimate of 1800-Gb.  "Oops!"

Below, we see the two graphs that should have been in the SciAmer article.  The Scenarios reflects Campbell's view of Regular Conventional plateau style Peak and Decline.  All Hydrocarbons puts forth his proposal of for conventional oil, the non-conventionals and natural gas.  The oils component (below the orange Gas layer) is a representation of a 93-mbd Peak Rate in 2009 via a 2600-Gb URR.  This Outlook, part of Colin Campbell's House of Commons committee testimony in July 1997 is significant in that it's 93-mbd Peak Rate was the highest prediction of his 30-year career.









Above, Conventional Oil Peak Plateau (red) of 64-mbd from 2001 to 2008 with 1800-Gb URR.  And also from July 1999, the Campbell "All Liquids" Peak of 93-mbd in 2009 with 2600-Gb URR.


Similar to the Laherrère graphic above, this March Y2K depiction of the Conventional Peak (from the Feasta Conference) illustrates their hypothesis that a plateau-type peak (grey line) could soften the decline slope and extend the decline tail; as differentiated from the Hubbert idealized Curve (black line).




This EIA graph was that Agency's first widely publicized attempt at illustrating Peak Oil.  It represents a 96-mbd Peak Rate in 2016 with a 3003-Gb URR.



This 2001 depiction was a successor to the Colin Campbell 1999 version above and has lived on to become the "poster child" of the Campbell/ASPO Depletion Scenario Model that was introduced in the ASPO Newsletter of May 2002.





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