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Is 2015 The Year Of Peak Oil Production?

I follow the JODI World Oil Database primarily because it is now four months ahead of the EIA international data base. I make some adjustments however. I use the OPEC MOMR “secondary sources” for all OPEC data where JODI also uses the MOMR but uses their “direct communication” data instead. The OPEC portion of the JODI data is “crude only” and will therefore be somewhat less than the EIA reports.

I use the Canadian National Energy Base data for Canada instead of the strange numbers JODI has for Canada. And I use the EIA data for the few small producers that JODI does not report.

With these Changes I think I have composed an excellent World Oil Database from this composite data. And with the October data just released I have composed the below charts. The data is through October and is in thousand barrels per day.

World oil production peaked, so far, in July at 76,702,000 barrels per day and in October stood at 76,128,000 bpd or 574,000 bpd below the peak.

Non-OPEC peaked, so far, in December 2014 at 45,530,000 bpd and in October stood at 44,662,000, down 868,000 bpd or just under 2% in 10 months.

Related: Latin America Moving Quickly On Renewable Energy

For the first time in 4 years Non-OPEC production has dropped below the level it was the same month the previous year. This means the 12 month trailing average has turned negative, though just barely.

Non-OPEC less the USA has been on a 12 year bumpy plateau. In fact it stood at 35,422,000 barrels per day in October, 214,000 bpd less than the level reached in December 2003.

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(Click to enlarge)

The data here, prior to 2012, is from the EIA. Russia and the USA are, by far, the two largest Non-OPEC producers. At best Russia has plateaued but most analysts predict she will begin to decline next year. I think that prognostication is correct. Russia, I believe, will slowly decline beginning in 2016.

The data for 2015 is the average for the first 10 months. Russia has increased production every year since 1999 except 2008 when we had the big crash. Some were expecting a similar crash in 2015. They were surprised: Siberian Surprise. I was not and I don’t expect a crash next year either. I just expect production in 2016 to be slightly less than this year.


Non-OPEC less USA and Russia is clearly in decline. Five years of oil prices above $100 could not prevent the decline. But $100 oil has brought a lot of Non-OPEC oil on line. What it did do was prevent this decline from being a lot steeper had oil been in the $60 or below range.

Related: Competition Within OPEC Set To Intensify Amid Low Oil Prices

Of course if we are talking peak oil we must include OPEC. Above is OPEC crude only production through November. It is obvious, to me anyway, that OPEC is producing flat out. Only Iran has much potential to increase production. Most analysts think they can only increase production about half a million barrels per day. But that will only likely replace decline in other OPEC nations. OPEC production will likely hold steady for the next four or five years before starting a steady decline. OPEC production will not prevent peak oil.

Bottom line, I am more convinced than ever that 2015 will be the year world crude oil peaked.

By Ron Patterson

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  • Kilon on December 28 2015 said:
    No please not.... peak?! There is an massive oversupply and only prices below 75 US-$ per barrel prevent us from larger production in the US, Canada and other offshore areas.

    The stocks have never been so full like now in the US (this is the only country which gives exact data weekly about the commercial and Strategic Petroleum Reserve amounts),

    some weeks ago for the first time in US history the "stocks including SPR" reached over 2,000,000,000 barrels! 2 billion barrels are 84 billion gallons or very exact: 158.98 liter per barrel, 2 billion barrels are 317,96 billion liters... last report was alone crude oil incl. SPR at 1,179,903,000 barrels! The US never were so unimportant from arab oil since the 60's or so I think (before they peaked in 1970 like Hubbert said correctly in the early 50's). Alaska changed the US hubbert curve and oil crisis with price increase and new technology changed it too, so it is a very strange curve... 1970 until 2007 or so it is going down, with 1974 to 1988 Alaska making the decline a bit strange and reducing it, but after 1988 it was going down until a few years ago Shale oil production started and almost old records were reached! We have sooo much oil, Iran has sanctions, if they are lifted Iran will bring at least 1 million additional barrels on the market. Libya usually would export around 1 million barrels more too if there would not be the fight for power... Sudan and South Sudan before they decided to become 2 countries in 2011, before this Sudan transported 500,000 barrels daily through the pipeline to a Port City (a bit oil was taken away on its way to meet global demand, but also in the North there are only the smaller fields, but usually 500,000 barrel reached the port daily, if the pipeline would have been larger a bit, than the production/exports could have been higher too! Now some African countries start production, South Sudan is looking for alternative oil export ways (Kenya Pipeline seems to be the best and safest, but it is still dangerous, now low oil price, but even at high oil prices the civil war like conditions make it a risky investment and South Sudan needs money/credits to build such a long pipeline from South Sudanese fields through whole Kenya... the size is only 1 point of cost, I think a 400,000 barrels per day pipeline on "normal" status would be more than enough, with a bit space for the future, and they could install a "booster" pump station which increase speed of oil flowing and therefore increases capacity.... Russia is producing at record levels too.... 10.74 million barrels daily in October.... Peak?! Peak Demand of Diesel in China in 2016 is feared! I think one large point is the decrease of coal use and diesel locomotives and also trucks are used less and more electric trains, much electricity is now hydro, but most is of course still coal, but natural gas is strongly increasing , Kazakhstan/Turkmenistan export through one pipeline together to China natural gas, Russia transports oil and gas at the pipelines and LNG terminals are existing at least 2 I think and 1 in Hongkong. Indonesian and Qatar LNG is exported... so China is not "addicted" to one country. I think Turkmenistan with Kazakhstan together are right now the largest sources for China... but Qatar and its fleet of 14 giant "Q-Max" LNG tankers is transporting extreme amounts of oil to the customers...

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