Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
NEW! Members Only Forums!
Access more articles, news & discussion by becoming a PeakOil.com Member.
Page added on June 21, 2012
As any energy watcher will tell you, one of permanent dates in the diary is the release of BP Statistical Review, providing a detailed overview of how the numbers do or don’t stack up. The 2012 edition was unveiled in Londonthis week, and the findings were as interesting as they were depressing. The good news was we managed to ‘keep the lights on’, but at a heavy environmental cost: in bulk terms, coal burn remains the fastest growing global fuel, registering a 5.4% uptick on 2011 levels. That’s a sad reality of global growth, but for those who’ve long accepted we’re shifting from a world of climate mitigation to a world of climate adaptation, it’s much more fun looking at proven oil reserves numbers that keep getting pumped out. Politically it’s right up there with the Eurovision song contest for entertainment value.
When you think oil, you think Saudi Arabia. But Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez has other ideas. Venezuelan reserves have supposedly more than tripled to 296.5bn barrels, a boost of 40.4% with numbers rising by at least 14% in the past five years to 2011. The Bolivarian revolution can champion 18% of the world’s oil riches, the largest single player. Better still; reserves to production ratio now exceed 100 years. This is what you could term the ‘kitchen sink’ approach to reserves – chuck everything you possibly can into the mix. It also stands in sharp contrast to actual Venezuelan production – a paltry 2.7mb/d – marking a 2% fall on 2011 levels, following four consecutive years of cuts. If anything, Caracas provides a telling glimpse of where Latin American hydrocarbon production is heading. All the hype around reserves is merely fuelling resource nationalism across the region. Reserves will go up; production will head in the opposite direction.
More from Mathew Hulbert at Forbes