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[New!]2011 update of Trendlines URR/EUR Linearizations chart  (link)

2011 update of Trendlines 22-model URR Estimates & Annual Growth vs Consumption  (link)

Update of Campbell/ASPO Stealth Discoveries chart  (link)


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March 26 2013 delayed FreeVenue public release of Dec 26th MemberVenue guidance ~ Linearization analysis is a guiding counterweight to geology/technology based Estimates of Ultimate Economical Recoverable Resource (URR/EUR). When compared, All Liquids succumbs to a 3,295-Gb differential, mostly attributable to Bitumen, CTL, GTL & Kerogen not yet reflecting their massive potential flows. OTOH, this shortfall is somewhat mitigated by the taint of biofuels-to-liquid influence. BTL is not included in the URR tally, but is indeed reflected in All Liquids production data.  Based on these linearizations, the world won't run out of light sweet crude (RCO) until Year 2103.

Linearization Method: URR/EUR Comparisons (2012/12/26)

Geo/Tech Method:

3,600-Gb All Liquids 6,895-Gb
2,001-Gb Regular Conventional Oil 1,999-Gb
110-Gb Bitumen/X-Heavy CTL-Kerogen-Shale 2,969-Gb
180-Gb Deep Sea & Arctic 262-Gb
270-Gb Saudi Arabian Crude


290-Gb NGL-GTL-Ref/Gain 1,680-Gb

All Liquids represents 12 major streams:  Regular Conventional Oil, NGL & Refinery Gain; and the non-conventionals: GTL (gas-to-liquid), Deep Sea, Arctic, Bitumen, X-Heavy, CTL (coal-to-liquid), Kerogen, Shale (tight) & BTL (biofuels-to-liquid).


Compilation, representation and averaging of the world's 22 most accurate recognized URR/EUR (Estimated Ultimately Recoverable Resource) Estimates by API (USA), BGR (Germany), BP (UK), Brandt & Farrell (USA), Colin Campbell of ASPO/IE, CERA (USA), EIA (USA), Energy Watch Group / Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (Germany), ExxonMobil (USA), MK Hubbert (USA), Sadad Ibrahim Al Husseini (Saudi Arabia), Freddy Hutter (the Yukon Canada), IEA (Int'l), IFP (France), IHS (France), Rembrandt Koppelaar (Netherlands), Jean Laherrère (France), OAPEC (Int'l), OGJ (USA), Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia), Total (France), Peter Wells (UK) & World Oil (USA):

URR/EUR Highlights

Oil Initially in Place (OIIP):  19-Tb.

URR avg:  4,174-Gb (doubled since 1995) & rising 22-Gb for each $1/barrel crude price increase

Remaining Resource:  2,886-Gb (doubled since Y2k)

Inferred Depletion:  31%

Remaining Resource/Annual Production Ratio:  90  (record low:  44 in 1995)

Proved Reserves:  1,256-Gb  (doubled since 1978) & growing by 49-Gb/yr  (10-yr avg)

Past Consumption:  1,288-Gb  (to 2011/12/31 excl 5-Gb BTL)

March 26 2012 delayed FreeVenue public release of Dec 26th MemberVenue guidance ~ Today's compilation update figures from BP, Brandt & Farrell, Campbell, EIA, ExxonMobil, Laherrère, Total & my own Hutter Peak Scenario-2500.

Today's URR study Avg is 118-Gb higher than last year and 82-Gb less than the avg inferred within the last monthly update of our 16-model Tier-1 Scenarios Presentation.  Its slightly different mix of practitioners has a URR Avg of 4,256-Gb.  As most models are based on Proved Reserves ... not total economic resource, the Avg is substantially less than my own PS-2500, built on a URR platform of 6,977-Gb.

Model Updates:

No new practitioners added this year.  Most upward movement by ExxonMobil, Laherrère & Hutter PS-2500

The PS-2500 was developed with a composite production profile acting as a visual aid to better explain the relationship between varied resource categories and the contribution of each to annual flow.  Each type of liquid has its unique profile and Peak Year.  The 11 streams tracked as All Liquids include Regular Conventional Oil, NGL & Refinery Gain; and the non-conventionals: GTL, Deep Sea, Polar, Bitumen, X-Heavy, CTL, Kerogen & BTL (biofuels not incl in URR tally).  RCO production peaked in 2005 and passed 50% of its 1.974-Tb URR in June/2007.  All other streams are in growth mode.

URR Growth Rate Vs Consumption

Chart#2 compares the growth rate of the 22-model Avg with OGJ & BP.  It is seen the recent high-price regime fuelled favourable economics of previously thought fringe contingent (sub-commercial) resources.  Discovery, development and technology advancements (especially of non-conventionals) fuelled a growth pace of 128-Gb/yr (4.9%) since 1996.  This far surpasses URR's growth of 30-Gb/yr (2.3%) from 1957-1995.

Unsustainable crude prices ($129/barrel high - July/2008) drove discoveries, exploration, and conversion of sub-commercial (contingent) resources over to the economic side of the ledger.  But, subsequent sub-$90 pricing was a serious dampener of that headiness.  Viewed via the 3-yr rolling average of the 22-models, additions to URR peaked @ 420-Gb in 2008, the growth rate slipping to 0-Gb in 2011.  My analysis reveals over the last ten years URR has risen 22-Gb for every $1/barrel price increase.  Similarly, each higher dollar added 2-Gb of Proved Reserves.

The chart shows annual augments to URR have exceeded Annual Consumption (32-Gb in 2011) since 1993.  Proved reserves grew by 49-Gb/yr last decade and total 1,249-Gb today.  This explains the hiatus from heavy exploration over the last two decades.  The sector's supply chain is founded on a Proved Reserve / Annual Production ratio of 40 (years).  Having attained that threshold in 1988, it has been necessary to only add just over annual consumption to hold this ratio steady.

Similarly, the Remaining Resource/Annual Production ratio was a near-record 90 in 2011.  Back in 1995, available Resource would have serviced only 44 years of then current production.  This aspect of economics has escaped the McPeakster fraternity.  Their wild thesis that peak production occurs sixty years after peak discovery is completely unfounded.  It is as ludicrous as their dogmatic position that URR & Proved Reserves grow in the OECD ... but not OPEC nations.


1)  Legend order reflects highest to lowest Estimates.

2)  updates include amendments to pre-2011 data.

3)  The data from each Estimate has not been adjusted except to add "past consumption" when not provided.  The 22-model Avg is a conservative tabulation.  Because some All Liquids Estimates do not include NGLs, Processing Gains, Non-conventional, Synthetic Oils or perhaps only Proved Reserves,  the true URR Avg is significantly higher than shown.

4)  URR reflects (a) the "3P" definition of Resource including proven, probable & possible reserves; (b) plus Contingent Resource (economic & technical feasibility within Outlook timeframe); plus (c) Prospective Resource (yet undiscovered) ... as classified by the SPE and (d) Past Resource or consumption.  URR does not include the following components of Oil Originally in Place (OIIP):  (1) discovered & undiscovered unrecoverable;  (2) discovered & undiscovered uneconomic;

5)  Hubbert (model #22) is not incl in "Avg" after 1989

6)  TRENDLines has been publishing this URR compilation since 2006.  Methodology only tracks practitioners regularly updating their tallies.  Full database commences in 1945.

See my 16-model Oil depletion Scenarios venue for a complementary study of multi-century production outlooks

 SPE classifications 

URR/EUR (as classified by the SPE) includes:

   (a)  Discoveries, Reserve Growth & Resource Growth (1P/2P/3P);

   (b)  Contingent Resources (discovered and potentially economic);

   (c)  Prospective Resources (undiscovered economic);

   (d)  Past Consumption (1,288-Gb to 2011/12/31 excl 5-Gb BTL)






Campbell URR components

1,650 Original pre-1996 Discoveries 1,650
0 post-1995 backdates 417
0 post-1995 net discoveries 362
150 future Conventional allowance   75
000 future Non-Conv allowance 19


Sans ASPO backdating ... no longer "running out of oil"

March 25 2012 delayed FreeVenue public release of Dec 25th MemberVenue guidance - As I predicted in 2007, global All Liquids URR/EUR is headed for 6-Tb ... not the ultra conservative resource projected by Colin Campbell of ASPO-IE.  Colin Campbell published his first Historical Discoveries graph in 1996.  It was based on his estimated URR of 1800 billion barrels (Gb) and was comprised of 1650-Gb of Discovered crude & a 150-Gb allowance for probable Future Discoveries.  His 2007 version (at left) is misleading in the sense that its backdating methodology gives the perception of "a well running dry".

My 2007 chart revealed for the first time how ASPO had stealthily hid record levels of Discoveries & Reserve Growth by clever and non-transparent backdating.  The chart's hashed yellow bars illustrate what this ASPO Discoveries Chart would look like w/o the deceptive backdating.  Now, four years later, the tall lime bars emphasize dramatically why Colin Campbell & ASPO have never updated their classic graph!

The gloomy chart was given wide dissemination at a time when ASPO had been hijacked by the McPeaksters ... a fringe fraternity that has been promoting "imminent" Peak Oil since 1989.  I consider the premise behind the practice of backdating as sound.  However, McPeaksters have chose to depict the measure with an utter disregard for transparency.  IMHO, this was done to mislead and cause alarmism.  Today's revelations leave McPeaksters stymied in defending their "well running dry" or "running out of oil" rhetoric.

The new chart depicts BP's increases in URR for 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 ... increasing their own URR to 2,787-Gb.  In comparison, my 22-model URR estimates study averages 3,820-Gb & my 15-model Tier-1 Depletion Scenarios project infers All Liquids

URR is 4,330-Gb.  My own PS-2500 model presently gauges URR to be 7.928-Gb.  Colin Campbell has raised his URR by another 89-Gb to 2,523-Gb this year.

The McPeakster doom position is completely undermined by the realization the growth trend has resumed its post-2006 pace, with an avg 66-Gb/yr in additions by BP.  That's double the rate of annual consumption!  The prospect of Discoveries dwindling to nothingness as shown in ASPO's 2007 depiction is absurd.  Campbell expects only 75-Gb of future discoveries of Regular Conventional & 19-Gb of non-Conventional resource over the next century.

This is unrealistic by any measure.  And thus Colin Campbell continues to represent a camp of fear mongers that would have the public believe the world is "running out of oil".  It is a fraud and deception enabled by groups like theOilDrum, PeakOildotcom & irresponsible pundits such as Jeff Rubin, Robert Hirsch, Chris Skrebowski, Kjell Aleklett & Charles Maxwell.

The oil sector operates in a framework founded on the understanding the Proved Reserves / Annual Production ratio will be kept at 40 (years).  This has been the practice for three decades.  Once attained, the ratio is kept in status quo merely by adding just over annual consumption each year.  This is conventional supply chain management.  The McPeakster hypothesis that oil peaks 60 years after the discovery peak is groundless and without merit.  In 1989, they told everyone the peak came 30 years after.  The fraternity is not credible 'cuz they've been adding a year to their theory ever since...   (cont'd)


Chart Dissection:  TRENDLines adaptation of the 2007 ASPO Discoveries graphic updates it with the 2011 Campbell All-Liquids URR Estimate of 2,523-Gb, but then draws attention to the magnitude of post-1995 "backdates" & reveals what happened after 2006.  These 5 components represent Campbell's original 1,800-Gb plus his 723-Gb of post-1995 additions to URR:

  • the original 1,650-Gb ASPO/XOM Discoveries-to-1995 are shown in  black

  • the 1996 to 2006 Net Discoveries of 97-Gb in  aqua  plus 265-Gb in  lime  Net Discoveries via BP = 362-Gb total

  • the 93-Gb allowance for Future Discoveries are  red  (conventional) &  gray .(non-conv)

  • 417-Gb of new Discoveries & Reserve Growth backdated by ASPO in  yellow

  • the same 417-Gb with year of repatriation in  yellow hash

The  yellow hash  bars represent the 417-Gb of 1996-2006 New Discoveries & Reserve Growth that Colin Campbell backdated (yellow top-ups).  One gets a very different impression of Peak Oil viewing the past "sans backdating".  But it gets worse.  Since 1996, Campbell has always incorporated an Allowance for Future Discoveries of Regular Conventional Oil (shown in  red ).  It was 126-Gb in 2007 & is down to 75-Gb today.  But nobody realized ('til our 2007 exposé) that Campbell conveniently hid from each chart & table (in his presentations and monthly newsletters) the important figure representing Undiscovered Non-conventional Fields.  It was 368-Gb in 2007, but after four years of discoveries/reserve growth (2007-2010  lime  bars) is down to a mere 19-Gb ( gray  bars) today.

Now let us compare the  bold  black  Annual Production line in ASPO's graph to the TrendLines Annual Consumption  coral  chart line.  ASPO would have one believe New Discoveries & Reserve Growth has not exceeded annual production since 1980.  But by illuminating ASPO's own annual revisions before Backdating, we see that substantial URR progress was made in nine of the last fifteen years.

Finally, the ASPO Future Fields & Reserve Growth allowances are addressed.  While Campbell depicts a future with insignificant URR growth of 7-Gb in 2007 and tailing off to nothingness in 2040 representing 126-Gb, the TRENDLines chart shows that gloomy forecast has had a bad start:  the 2011 BP Annual Statistical Report reveals the last four years in fact yielded 49, 105, 73 & 38-Gb of new Proved Reserve Discoveries & Reserve Growth.

There is little doubt Colin Campbell's 2,523-Gb URR model is deficient in its projection of future growth (by omitting non-conventional volume) and over time will be upward revised to 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or even 8-Tb.  This is becoming increasingly evident with each succeeding annual TRENDLines chart update.


USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000 Revisited

Feb 24 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.


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