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Page added on November 29, 2009

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Thanks for the blessings of oil

Thanksgiving Day is a special day for those following the peak oil news. Geologist Kenneth Deffeyes, author of Hubbert’s Peak, predicted that Thanksgiving Day 2005 would mark the peak in world oil production. After that, oil production would decline, irreversibly. And he may have been right. Crude oil production figures have been removed from the most widely influential official statistics, so it’s not easy to check. Even if crude production numbers were easily available, the numbers are so uncertain that it’s hard to see anything other than the biggest trends.

When Deffeyes made the prediction, almost two years before Thanksgiving 2005, his tongue was only slightly in his cheek. Oil production data are not nearly precise enough to establish a peak day.

Was Deffeyes at least right about the year of peak oil?

I looked for the answer in the official figures from the US Department of Energy and the International Energy Agency in Paris. The main tables on world oil production no longer report what’s called crude oil and condensate. Condensate is a byproduct of natural gas production. What they call



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