2007 Volume 86 Issue 12 Pages 987-994
World crude oil production forecast has been predicted based on several production scenarios of the Middle East oil producers and production profiles as well as discovery functions of known and yet to find oil fields in other regions. The global production forecast as well as the timing of peak oil substantially depends on the production scenario of the Middle East producers, so that the timing of the peak oil cannot be specified. On the other hand, it has also been found out that the rates of decrease in the production after peak oil varies more than double according to different production scenarios of the Middle East producers.
Following three scenarios have been assumed for production forecast of Middle East producers, namely (i) keep their current production level; (ii) increase production level to cope with the growth of the global demand; (iii) adjust production rate to keep the current global production level; all these three until R/P ratio decreases down to 25 years, thereafter decreasing the production to keep the same level of the R/P ratio. The starting period of declining in the production as well as the rate of decrease in production after it largely depends on the above scenarios. The earliest decline in global production is elicited in case (i) as starting from year 2010, the second earliest in case (ii) as starting from year 2025, the latest in case (iii) as starting from 2033 (or 2034 in case of growing exploration activities). On the other hand, the rate of decrease in the production is most moderate in case (i), initially declining at less than 2% per year. Fatalistic rate of decrease in the production has been suggested in case (ii), initially declining at more than 4% per year.
The intensity of exploration activities represented by the number of wild cat wells, outside Middle East and US except Alaska, in the range under consideration, does not largely affect the global production forecast. But it still has limited but certain effect to eliminate the rate of decrease in production once after peak oil has been emerged.