Oseberg Sor platform
Oseberg Sor platform in North Sea. The author asserts that the Oseberg oil field peaked in 1994 and is depleting at 11.9 percent annually.

Peak Oil 2010

The North Sea oil fields as a model for global oil depletion

By Roger Blanchard

Reprinted from Association for the Study of Peak Oil USA weekly newsletter

I’ve studied the oil supply issue for at least two decades. Over the years I’ve read numerous books that deal with what the books describe as an impending oil supply crisis. Being an analytical chemist, I was troubled that the books provided little, if any, data to support their contentions. I became frustrated enough with the situation that I wrote my own book. What I attempted to do in the book was to dissect the oil production of the world’s significant oil producing countries to illustrate why it is valid to predict that global oil production is likely to peak in approximately 2010.

For the sake of consistency, I have been predicting that global oil production would peak in ~2010 since at least 1995. I also provide scientific reasons to explain why conventional oil is so important to our present society and why it will not be as easy to replace as is generally accepted. Oil supply optimists, such as Michael Lynch and Daniel Yergin, base their optimism for increasing future global oil production on reserves estimates provided in Oil & Gas Journal and World Oil, as well as results from the most recent global oil resource assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). I provide detailed data/information on why reserves figures are essentially worthless and why the USGS assessment is seriously flawed.

To give you a feel for the book, I’ve extracted an excerpt from the chapter "Oil Production in Western Europe". I’ve been particularly interested in oil production from the North/Norwegian Seas for a long time and I wrote a paper in 1999 on North Sea oil production, which can still be found on the Internet ("The Impact of Declining Major North Sea Oil Fields Upon Future North Sea Production"). At the time, I predicted that United Kingdom oil production (crude oil + condensate) would peak in 1999 and Norwegian oil production would peak in 2001 (see table). By comparison, at the time the U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration (US DOE/EIA) was predicting a peak for the U.K. in ~2006 and for Norway in 2005. As it turned out, U.K. oil production peaked in 1999 and Norwegian production peaked in 2001. In 2005, U.K. oil production was down to 1.649 million b/d (US DOE/EIA), a 38.6% decline from peak, and Norwegian production was down to 2.78 million b/d (NPD), a 15.8% decline from peak.


US EIA (1999)

Blanchard (1998)

Actual date of




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