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Al Fin

Al Fin

Al Fin runs a number of very successful blogs that cover, energy, technology, news and politics.

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2010 Crude Oil: 50 Billion Barrels Discovered, 30 Billion Barrels Used

With the price of oil hovering above $70 a barrel for over a year -- and around $90 a barrel for several weeks -- oil exploration companies can get to work discovering rich new oil fields. In 2010, more new oil was discovered than was consumed -- and we can expect that trend to continue as long as oil stays high -- above fundamentals. OPEC is sitting on considerable reserve production.

Oil Fields

Iraq has barely begun to develop its huge fields using modern technology. Africa's rich fields are waiting for a political structure that is able to limit sabotage, theft and corruption. Mexico's leadership is finally admitting that its own graft and laziness has caused premature flagging of national oil production. Venezuela's production of its vast resources is artificially damped by an incompetent presidential boob. Russia's autocratic corruptocracy is reflected by incompetence at the oil field level -- Russian production could be much higher with competent oversight.

Bluntly put, the world is sitting on far more crude oil than it knows what to do with at this time. Human incompetence, corruption, and lack of skilled manpower and state-of-the-art equipment chokepoints contribute to the real disconnect and lag between moment-to-moment demand and instantaneous supplies.

Political peak oil: The only kind of peak oil you will ever see, except for peak demand, when oil is no longer needed.

Taken from Mark Perry's Carpe Diem blog:

Last year was a really good year for new oil discoveries, there were at least 14 major oil discoveries in Brazil alone totaling 13.5 to 26.7 billion barrels, here's a list below:

1. Well OGX-4-RUS:
100-200 million barrels
 – February

2. Well 1-OGX-3-RJS:
500-900 million barrels
 - February

3. Well 4-PM-53:
25 million barrels
 – February

4. Additions to Barracuda:
65 million barrels
 - February

5. Maastrichtian section of Well OGX-5:
30-90 million barrels

6. Piranema:
15 million barrels
 - March

7. Wahoo:
300 million barrels
 - April

8. Franco:
4.5 billion barrels
 - May

9. Pipeline and Etna:-
1.4-2.6 billion barrels
 - May

10. Waimea and Fuji:
600 million-1.1 billion barrels
 - May

11. Carimbe:
105 million barrels
 - May


12. Brava:
380 million barrels
 - June

13. Libra:
3.7-15 billion barrels
 - October

14. Cernambi field at Iracema:
1.8 billion barrels

In addition, there were more than 30 billion barrels discovered in other parts of the world in 2010, including Iran, Russia, Norway(more), Mexico, Ghana, Iraq, U.S. (Texas, ND and Montana and Colorado), Falkland Islands, U.K., Angola(more) and Oman, bringing the total of new recoverable oil discoveries in 2010 to around 50 billion barrels. Brazil was the clear leader in 2010, with the oil found there representing up to half of all new global oil discoveries in 2010. With oil now selling now at close to $90 per barrel, we can expect even more discoveries in 2011. _CarpeDiem

By. Al Fin

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  • Anonymous on January 18 2011 said:
    If only America could rule all over there would be only competent masters oops competent engineers technicians to destroy oops gently and ecologically taking just what we need instead we have corrupt incompetent Russians Irakis Iranians Africans who just bend backward to ruin our party...only one motto: more wars to spread competence gentleness and I won't forget democracy justice etc etc well you know what I mean the western propaganda oops values.
  • Anonymous on January 18 2011 said:
    As you comment a high price will spur efforts to find new supplies, supplies that a decade or so ago wouldn't even be considered, because the EROI (energy ratio over energy invested) is progressively becoming worse and worse.Eventually the price will rise and rise, but new production will be an impossibility because the EROI ratio will fall ever closer to 1:1. At that point it is no longer worth trying to produce the oil.In the affluent west the price increase has led to a decrease in elected use of oil. Less local car trips, fewer long distance trips, etc. but in other parts of the world the effect is much more severe. In Pakistan trains only run 1 or 2 days a week in the remoter regions because of high fuel costs and an inability for the poor to afford the higher fares.
  • Anonymous on January 18 2011 said:
    Bluntly put, neither oil nor other liquid hydrocarbon fuels are fungible in terms of price, EREOI or time-to-market. The correct way to phrase the questions are as follows:1) What is the rate of energy input into our civilization via liquid hydrocarbon fuels and at what rate can these be replaced?2) What will be the costs going forward as the proportion of low-cost to high-cost hydrocarbon liquid fuel feedstock changes over time?3) What will be the aggregate EROEI going forward for liquid hydrocarbon fuels extracted in the future for the next 30 years?Without an accurate answer to these questions, we know little of use regarding hydrocarbon supply changes over time.
  • Anonymous on January 18 2011 said:
    The author in past years must have worked for Madoff!I think his figures especially for Brazil are a little cooked.They are at the high end and most of the folks I know that are actually working in those fields say recoverable oil is much lower. Ignore the obvious at your own risk gentlemen.RED
  • Anonymous on January 19 2011 said:
    I gave a great lecture recently in which I pointed out that everything you need to know about oil you can deduce from what happened in the United States of America before and after l970 - just as with nuclear, you have only to study the situation in Sweden, particularly before the curse of electric deregulation arrived.I cant understand why intelligent people - to include Mr Al Fin - dont get the message. Regardless of peak oil or oils, or the amount of oil waiting to be recovered on Park Avenue or the Boul Mich, when the oil price can touch $147b, peak oil becomes a non subject.Let me tell everybody something interesting, In the US in particular, if you make a sensible statement about the oil situation, you are greeted with frowns. By the same token, just any old fantasy about the amount of oil will often be taken with shouts of joy. Wake up America and read the labels on the champagne bottles.
  • Anonymous on January 19 2011 said:
    Fred, oil priced at $147b is a double-edged sword. It triggers demand destruction at the same time it temporarily brings more expensive oil fields within reach. Of course when the price crashes those same fields fall back out of reach. The oil is still there, waiting for high enough prices.RedGypy may want to look more closely at Brazil: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-19/brazil-oil-fields-may-hold-more-than-twice-estimated-reserves.html"EROEI" is a term which means far less than most people understand, as one small piece of a very large and dynamic puzzle. It provides a false sense of knowledge, but if it keeps a person out of mischief it may be worth it.
  • Anonymous on January 19 2011 said:
    You got it right there Alfonso. The oil price touches 147 and now MORE EXPENSIVE FIELDS ARE WITHIN REACH. But while you and I are reaching, the global macroeconomy crashes.I'm always hesitant to give anyone credit for knowing more about oil than my good self - with the possible exception of you of course - but Professor James Hamilton at California (San Diego) believes as I do that the oil price escalation in 2008 played a big part in the global macro meltdown - or partial meltdown.I also dont have much sympathy with EROEI, at least in the short run. My argument is so simple and straightforward that I don't think that I will give it here, but if you became one of my students, I would send you to the blackboard or whiteboard to discuss to discuss this...issue for the young ladies in the expensive seats.

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