If that was the norm, then certainly this type of analysis would not indicate otherwise. Are you implying that these government scientists have taken a decreasing effect (your claim, overstatements leading to downward revisions), manufactured data to indicate otherwise (understatements leading to upward revisions), and then dared to publish it? http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-202-96/FS-202-96.html
Interesting that you should pick the USGS Bruce. Yes they have a history of getting it MASSIVELY WRONG as demonstrated when they had to revise their US total reserve estimate down from 560Gb to 190Gb in 1970 after 14 years of disputing Hubbert's constant accusation that the USGS had grossly overstated US oil reserves, Hubbert was proved correct. Now 560Gb down to 190Gb ... that really is a huge overstating of reserves wouldn't you say?
"The USGS’s reputation goes back a long way. When the Shell geologist M. King Hubbert published his now legendary paper in April 1956, with its startling prediction that American oil production would peak and start to fall within 15 years, the Survey’s Deputy Chief Geologist Vincent McKelvey was among those who tried to discredit the forecast by promoting an estimate of the US oil resource that was almost three times higher than the biggest number used by Hubbert. This mattered because the central hypothesis of Hubbert’s work was that oil production tends to go into terminal decline at about the midpoint of depletion, when half the oil that will ever be produced from a given region is still underground. So the bigger the resource estimate, the longer the peak would be deferred.
The USGS numbers were proved conclusively wrong in 1970 when US oil production peaked and started to fall right on schedule, and by the “Arab oil embargo” three years later, which rubbed in just how right Hubbert had been; despite the most intense political and economic incentives to produce more oil, American output continued to drop. McKelvey was finally sacked in 1978, an event about which the USGS website is understandably coy."
And oil companies do have an incentive to overestimate oil reserves, it is called 'a higher share price' and overstating reserves is particularly useful if your bonus is directly derived from a higher SP. In 2004 Shell overstated its oil reserves, resulting in loss of confidence in the group, a £17 million fine by the Financial Services Authority and the departure of the chairman Philip Watts. A lawsuit resulted in the payment of $450 million to non-American shareholders in 2007.
There are oil fields where reserves end up being higher than originally estimated however this is not really the norm. On the other hand overstating total company oil reserves is widespread.
Bruce_S wrote:Egypt also peaked 20 years ago, and you used the specter of depletion when speaking of Egypt's current problems. I have news, if things were peak oil /depletion related, we would have been alot younger discussing this connection.
Yes I did use the spectre of depletion simply because Egypt now is a net importer of oil and had recently cut all oil product subsidies to the general populous. Oil had gone from being their biggest export to nothing IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. That, my friend is a big deal. There has been a big shift in their fortunes since oil peaked and now it's even worse since they now have zero net income from oil.