Based on figures taken from the annual company reports of the five main international oil companies (Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and Total) over the past twelve years it is clear to see that the combined crude oil production has fallen 25.8% since a historic high in 2004.
In 2004 total combined crude production peaked at 10.76 million barrels a day, yet in 20012, just eight years later, that volume had dropped to 7.981 million barrels a day, a decrease of 2.779 million barrels a day.
This fall in production comes after a period in which the companies have largely increased investment, and high demand has seen oil prices soar. For example, Total, the French energy giant now has greater than 40% more extraction wells now compared to 2007, yet its production volume has fallen by 20%.
Related article: Arab Countries Openly Discuss Peak Oil for the First Time
Whilst total production for the top five oil companies fell by a quarter , total global production increased by 4%, although the majority of that occurred before 2006.
One explanation could be that small and midcap oil companies have become more popular and now produce a larger share of the global oil production. Also, OPEC countries have increased output by 2.189 million barrels a day. Countries like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and members of the former Soviet Union have all greatly increased production, but the oil majors play very little part in these countries oil industries. Instead each are dominated by state-run companies.
BP have played a major part in the combined production decline of the majors. Since the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill BP has been selling oil production assets around the world, with the sale of its TNK-BP shares to Rosneft reducing its output by 40% alone.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…