Peak in Global Oil Production

Letter to the Editor from Douglas Low points out that there have been on new major oil field discoveries since 2002, strongly suggesting global oil reserves are in decline.

Published: 05-Feb-2005

I do not understand why anyone can believe that global oil production will not peak (‘Peak Oil’) for another 10 years -- never mind 30 years. And yet, so many do. I would like to call such people ‘theorists’, because they are not basing their opinions on facts and current trends. On the contrary, they rarely say explicitly where the new oil is going to come from to continually increase supplies -- and we will need a lot of it.

The plain truth of the matter is that most oil producing countries have peaked in oil production already and their output is declining, although till now these have been mainly the smaller producers.

The USA is the third largest producer of oil and it peaked in 1970. The UK and Norway peaked in 1999/2000. China and Mexico (5th and 6th largest) are both expected to peak soon, if they have not already. Russia, which produces about as much oil as Saudi Arabia, (they are by far the two biggest producers) announced last year that it expects production to peak no later than 2007.


Visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan are significant because the trip spells out the Saudi Kingdom's Look East policy, representing a new reorientation in its foreign policy that was heavily tilted toward the West.


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