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2015 Could Be The Year of Peak Oil

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The EIA has finally updated their International Energy Statistics with data through February 2015. All data in the charts below are Crude + Condensate and is in thousand barrels per day with the last data point February 2015.

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World C+C dropped 477,000 bpd in January and another 65,000 bpd in February for a total decline of 542,000 bpd. World C+C stood at 79,160,000 barrels per day in February.

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Non OPEC C+C declined 244,000 bpd in January and another 100,000 bpd in February for a total decline of 344,000 since December. Non-OPEC C+C production stood at 46,656,000 bpd in February.

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OPEC C+C, in February 2015 stood at 32,504,000 bpd, down 1,451,000 bpd from its peak in April 2012. However according to the OPEC MOMR their crude only is up 1,000,000 bpd from February to May.

Related: The Latest Industry On EPA’s Emissions Hitlist

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According to the EIA’s International Energy Statistics US C+C production, in February, stood at 9,238,000 bpd. It was down 14,000 bpd in January but up 24,000 bpd in February for an increase of 10,000 over those two months.

An interesting point here is while US C+C was up 10,000 bpd from December to February, US total liquids were down 297,000 bpd. That was because over that two month period they have NGLs down 20,000 bpd, refinery process gain down 150,000 bpd and other liquids down 136,000 bpd.

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In spite of the huge rig count decline in Canada the EIA says they were up 99,000 bpd in January and up another 22,000 bpd in February. Canada’s C+C production stood at 3,901,000 bpd in February.


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China, after reaching a new high in December fell 83,000 bpd in January and another 14,000 bpd in February. China’s C+C production, in February, stood at 4,218,000 bpd.

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Russia’s C+C reached 10,220,000 bpd in January, barely topping the 10,209,000 bpd of November 2013. Their C+C production however dropped 70,000 bpd in February and stood, at that point, at 10,150,000 bpd.

The page Non-OPEC Charts has been updated with charts of all non-OPEC producers.

There has been a lot of discussion on this blog lately as to whether US crude production, in the last few months has been up or down. The EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report has U.S production soaring in 2015, reaching new highs almost every week. However the EIA’s own Drilling Productivity Report has shale oil, the source of almost all US production gains, peaking in April with an increasing decline in May, June and July. And reports from individual states seem to indicate that the decline started even earlier.

Related: Petrobras May Be Selling But Is Anyone Buying?

Platts mentions Eagle Ford was down 8,000 bpd in April and down another 6,000 bpd in May. And we know from the NDIC Stats that North Dakota production in April was down almost 22,000 bpd in April and down almost 60,000 bpd since peaking in December. Platts however says Bakken production was basically flat in May, up a mere 650 bpd. Accurate to 10 bpd? I seriously doubt that.

I am betting that when the June data finally comes in that it will show crude oil production in the US has seriously declined since December 2014. And it is likely Canada has done likewise.

This chart shows OPEC crude only production through May. They have increased production by 1,000,000 bpd since February but they are all pumping flat out to achieve that.

I am now more convinced than ever that 2015 will see the peak in world crude oil production. I have very closely studied the charts of every producing nation and my prognosis is based on that study. I see many nations in steep decline and most every other nation peaking now, or in the last couple of years, or very near their peak today. These include the world’s three largest producers, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
Many other nations are at or have reached their peak in the last few years. These include other producing giants such as Kuwait, the UAE, Brazil and China. Other non-giants are peaking or have recently peaked include Colombia, Oman, and India. Only Canada, and Kazakhstan have any real upside potential and I am not too sure about Kazakhstan.

I know many will point to Venezuela but that is just not going to happen. Venezuela does have vast potential but also has vast political problems and a history of confiscating foreign assets and paying them pennies on the dollar. So don’t expect anything but a slow decline from Venezuela for the next decade or so.

By Ron Patterson

25 Comments on "2015 Could Be The Year of Peak Oil"

  1. rockman on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 4:08 pm 

    Hmmm…not I feel somewhat conflicted. Just a day or so ago I started a thread speculating that 2015 may eventually be proven to be GPO…global peak oil. And now the EIA is making a similar speculation.

    It just brings to mind the old Groucho Marx joke: I wouldn’t belong to a club that accepts someone like me as a member. LOL.

  2. Dredd on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 4:33 pm 

    The exact year is irrelevant to whether it happens or not.

    It is certain to happen.

    This same senseless wondering takes place in the Arctic sea ice cover extent watch.

    What year will be the year of no Arctic ice cover … 2015 … 2020 ???

    It is a useless watch over a complex system.

    It will come for certain.

    The import of these dynamics is not when they happen, the life and death question is why they will happen and what are the consequences (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR – 7?).

  3. JJHMAN on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 6:43 pm 

    Well, that very first chart “World” convinced me. Peak oil has finally arrived. You can see it clearly in that final, deadly, decline at the end of the chart. I certaily believe the statement that the Saudis and the rest of OPEC are pumping “full out”. It is so obvious from the charts shown.

    //Sarc off

    I suppose peak oil will finally arrive when people stop saying that it is today or tomorrow or next Thursday.

  4. Nony on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 6:54 pm 

    I have a hard time buying a 2015 peak unless something wonky is going on with demand. After all, the world seemed to endure 4 years at 100+ for price and now we are down to 65. People are literally trading in their hybrid vehicles for SUVs. Gasoline consumption is up big time in the US. Refiners are going gangbusters.

    SA and Russia show no signs of slowing down production and will marginally increase. Then there is the risk of Iranian or Libyan barrels coming back on line very quickly. Iraq has its issues as a country, but has a huge geological resource and has been increasing production the last few years–could be more there too.

  5. Newfie on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 7:07 pm 

    The most basic law of Nature:
    What goes up must come down.

  6. rockman on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 7:16 pm 

    Dredd – “The exact year is irrelevant to whether it happens or not.” I agree as you probably already know. That’s why it will be so dang interesting if in the rearview mirror some years down the road we see that the global peak oil occurred at the time oil prices were the same low level (inflation adjusted) as it was 10 years ago and at only 60% of what it was 7 years ago but also at the same price it was 6 years ago.

    It contradicts the simplistic idea that oil prices would start surging at the same time the global oil rate would peak and begin it’s perpetual decline. And it becomes even more disconcerting for many if oil prices stay low for an extended period of time.

    Thus the reason I’ve been pushing the POD for a long time as a far more important reality then the date of GPO.

  7. GregT on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 7:27 pm 

    “I have a hard time buying a 2015 peak”

    If that is what you believe Nony, then plan accordingly. If you are correct, then everything in your future will be fine. If you are wrong, you’re screwed. Those that are planning now for a peak, will be fine if it doesn’t happen, and will be doing far better than you if it does. It all boils down to risk management, and planning for ones future.

  8. Northwest Resident on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 8:43 pm 

    Peak conventional oil? Check.

    Peak classification of almost any liquid that burns as “oil” to hide the fact that we’re really truly at peak oil? Check.

    Peak propaganda, lies and dirty tricks to further confuse the masses and hide the fact that we’re at peak oil? Probably not yet.

    Peak debt directly related to the fact that TPTB are using debt to obscure the fact that we’re at peak oil? Almost.

    If it weren’t for fracking in America and other unconventional production, we would have to recognize that we’re AT and slightly beyond peak oil, wouldn’t we? But fracked oil net energy is minimal. Should it even count? What about ethanol and other “crap” that they’re counting as your standard A-grade world class barrel of oil these days? Should they count?

    How about we just call it “peak energy” and leave it at that? Or, close enough to feel the heat, that’s for sure.

  9. dashster on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 9:34 pm 

    When a peak occurs does matter, because only after a peak will much of the 99% of the world that doesn’t believe in Peak Oil come to believe in it. Until then Peak Oil is just an incorrect theory to them and nothing needs to be done to adjust for it.

    Although it is still possible that declining production is successfully labeled as Peak Oil Demand. It is possible to have Peak Oil Demand, but it won’t likely be the case if we see it in the next few years with prices soaring.

  10. Davy on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 9:45 pm 

    Dash, I wonder if they will just call it peak demand or economic reduced oil supplies. My point is they want to call a badger a possum. They want to keep the door open to a solution. Peak oil is so final to them.

  11. GregT on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 10:22 pm 

    The vast majority of people have never even heard the term Peak Oil, and of those that have, the majority refuse to accept that the peak in conventional oil has anything to do with the global financial crisis that we cannot recover from.

    Denial runs rampant.

  12. ghung on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 10:35 pm 

    It’ll be years after any technical peak before it really sinks in that the net available energy from oil can no longer fuel the sort of growth we’ve come to depend on over the last century. There will be plenty of blame going around; domestically and internationally, but little acknowledgement that we’ve been compensating for geologic reality, with debt, for some time now.; a complex set of circumstances with a simple over-arching outcome: contraction.

    When the ringmasters of this global circus can no longer pretend that growth is infinite, many societies won’t react well. We’re already seeing what may turn out to be just foreplay.

    I heard that the US is moving a full armoured division into eastern Europe. Posturing?

  13. Northwest Resident on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 1:47 am 

    ghung — I’m pretty sure that the whole Russian/American “confrontation” is nothing more than a cover for America and Europe to move military equipment and other “assets” around in preparation for the Real Deal, and that would be the upcoming disintegration of Europe — economically and socially.

    If you want ethnic strife turned violent, if you want ancient animosities to give rise to bloody conflict, if you want a corrupt and clueless Elite (descended from nobility) to really screw things up — look no farther than Europe, the home of global wars and ethnic cleansing on a world class scale.

    That full armored division isn’t going to fight Russians, though that is the pretext. It is going to (try to) maintain order and suppress riot in Europe during that time which is rapidly approaching when everybody who hated everybody else during the great world wars and centuries before that finally drop their inhibitions and give release to their long pent-up frustrations.

    They tried to prevent this with the EU and the Euro, but that was a dramatic failure as we’ll know for a fact soon enough.

    Wasn’t it George Soros who said that there are ancient evils lurking in Europe, ready to erupt? Think Game of Thrones.

    Look for a few more armored divisions and lots of troops sent to Europe to “stand against Russia” before this human drama finally plays out the final act.

    If the internet is still alive and television news covers it for the mesmerized masses here in America, I’ll be really surprised. Truth is, we’re all headed the same direction as Europe. It is just a matter of when.

  14. Beery on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 5:25 am 

    JJHMAN wrote: “Well, that very first chart “World” convinced me. Peak oil has finally arrived. You can see it clearly in that final, deadly, decline at the end of the chart.”

    You can see declines of that magnitude earlier in the chart. While this may indeed be the peak, that decline is not proof of it.

  15. Beery on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 5:26 am 

    LOL, I missed the sarcasm tag. Sorry.

  16. BobInget on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 10:18 am 

    Here’s exactly why crude goes to $70.
    next week.

    Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending June 19, 2015
    U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 16.5 million barrels per day during the week
    ending June 19, 2015, 250,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average.
    Refineries operated at 94.0% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production
    increased last week, averaging over 9.9 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production
    decreased last week, averaging about 5.0 million barrels per day.

    U.S. crude oil imports averaged about 6.8 million barrels per day last week, down by
    302,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil
    imports averaged about 7.0 million barrels per day, 3.5% below the same four-week
    period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and
    gasoline blending components) last week averaged 896,000 barrels per day. Distillate
    fuel imports averaged 128,000 barrels per day last week.

    U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum
    Reserve) decreased by 4.9 million barrels from the previous week. At 463.0 million
    barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain near levels not seen for this time of year in at
    least the last 80 years. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.7 million barrels
    last week, and are in the upper half of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories
    decreased while blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel
    inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels last week and are in the middle of the average
    range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories rose 1.3 million barrels last
    week and are well above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial
    petroleum inventories decreased by 6.7 million barrels last week.

    Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged over 19.8 million barrels
    per day, up by 7.2% from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor
    gasoline product supplied averaged about 9.4 million barrels per day, up by 4.5% from
    the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged over 3.8 million
    barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 0.9% from the same period last year.

    Jet fuel product supplied is up 7.4% compared to the same four-week period last year.

  17. green_achers on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 10:18 am 

    There is nothing in the charts themselves that point to “peak” oil in any year. I have to call BS on this for the same reason that I called BS on the climate change doubters when they called the end of warming a few years back when there was a minor recession for a couple of years. You can pick out dozens of “peaks” in the data, and a person loong at them without the rest of the chart could have called “peak.”

    “Real” peak might have happened in 2005. Maybe 2025. It would be remarkable if we ever know to within a decade.

    The incontrovertable fact is that depletion is happening. Everywhere. The more the basins are depleted, the harder it is to get the oil out. You know it by the lengths that have to be gone to to get it out, and in the long-term price, which will certainly fluctuate. All that can be said is that we are in the zone of peak, or maybe better, leave “peak” out completely and say we are in the zone of depletion.

  18. BobInget on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 10:35 am 

    19.8 Million Barrels a day ladies.
    Jet fuel usage is flat week over week.

    And, we know from where all this demand comes. Constant, wasteful oil wars.
    Each one comes with a different name concocted by wordsmiths.
    (i’m sure there must be a English Major Major
    deep in Pentagon bowels busy with new war names to run up a flagstaff).

    Even if interminable oil-war brought us cheap oil once again, it hasn’t, would it be worth it?

    Traders look only at refinery usage and inventory. Both today are bullish for oil prices bearish for land mammals.

  19. BobInget on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 10:47 am 

    Green-Archers, watch import levels vs
    consumption and finished product exports.
    For instance, you may be surprised, Mexico
    is a Net (oil) Importer with US. It’s cheaper, short term, to import naturals gas, diesel and gasoline while flaring gas off-shore.
    The government siphons off oil revenue for
    ‘other’ needs. Neglecting infrastructure.
    (In America we send our money to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan instead of building bridges, HS Rail, pipelines from the last reliable exporter in North America.

  20. BobInget on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 11:35 am 

    India’s oil demand rose to a record high for the second consecutive month in May at 3.82 million b/d led by rising naphtha, LPG and gasoline demand.

    Crude oil throughput at India’s state-owned and private refiners rebounded in May after dipping slightly in April due to maintenance-related shutdowns.

    According to data released Monday by the oil ministry, Indian refiners processed 19.71 million mt of crude in May, or an average 4.66 million b/d, up 7.9% year on year and up 15.3% from April.

    Indian refiners’ crude throughput in May was just shy of the record high 19.73 million mt they processed in December.

    The average utilization rate of Indian refineries stood at 108.18% in May, compared with 100% in May 2014 and 97% in April as refiners boosted throughput to meet robust domestic demand.

    Latest data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell — a division of the oil ministry — showed that India’s oil demand rose to a record high for the second consecutive month in May at 3.82 million b/d led by rising naphtha, LPG and gasoline demand.


    Over the first five months of 2015, Indian refiners processed 93.39 million mt (4.53 million b/d) of crude oil, up a modest 1.7% year on year, the ministry data showed.

    This compares with a 5.1% year-on-year jump in India’s oil products demand to 3.75 million b/d over January-May and explains the 7.2% drop in India’s oil product exports to 1.2 million b/d.

    Barring HPCL, which cut its crude throughput by 4.5% from the previous month, all other refiners raised runs in May, the data showed.

    Separately, the oil ministry’s data showed that India’s crude production rose 0.8% year on year to 3.18 million mt in May, and natural gas production for the month was down 3.5% on year at 2.82 Bcm.
    Source: Platts

  21. BobInget on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 12:16 pm 

    Saudis super miscalculation, engaging in a hot war with now united Yemen is beginning to effect exports. Now pumping full tilt boogie,
    it will be impossible for KSA to both fund and oil supply to major wars. Syria and Yemen.
    On top of that KSA needs to keep selling oil at deep deep discounts to so called ‘allies’ like Egypt and Pakistan.

    When, (not if) KAS collapses the Kingdom will be unable to supply Pakistan, Egypt, fighters in Syria, bombing Yemen. The only united force in the region, takes over.

    The Saudis completed more wells so far this 2015 then the entire 2009 year.

    There’s a battle Royal (pun) going on in the oil markets. For a front row, but, sorry, not backstage, watch:

    I’m predicting shorts, getting highly nervous,
    are preparing to bail when military advantage swings one direction or another.
    For now, it matters not which ‘side’ wins.
    Only one thing for sure, oil prices need to rise.

    Don’t hand me counter intuitive, made up data how we can’t afford oil. Tell that to Asians whose incomes are lower, food expense higher and car love of epidemic proportions.

  22. BobInget on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 12:22 pm 

    The nation processed 2.22 million bpd in domestic refineries in April, the most since at least January 2002 when JODI started collecting statistics from governments.

    Saudi Arabia reduced crude oil exports in April as the world’s biggest producer used record supplies domestically for a burgeoning refining industry.
    Shipments fell to 7.74 million bpd from 7.9 million in March, the Riyadh-based Joint Organisations Data Initiative said on its website Thursday. The nation processed 2.22 million bpd in domestic refineries in April, the most since at least January 2002 when JODI started collecting statistics from governments.

    Saudi Arabia began operating a 400,000 bpd refinery at Yanbu on the Red Sea last year. Another plant with the same capacity is scheduled to begin operation in 2017 at Jazan in the country’s southwest. The kingdom’s oil-product exports rose 44% last year following the startup of a refinery in the Gulf port of Jubail, according to JODI data.

    “Saudi needs more crude to stay at home,” Kamel al- Harami, an independent oil analyst in Kuwait, said by phone from Kuwait City on Thursday. “The Saudis want to put a cap on exports during summer and they are satisfied with anything around 7.7 million to 7.9 million [bpd] as they want to keep their market share.”

    Saudi Arabia’s output rose to 10.31 million bpd in April from 10.29 million in March, according to JODI. The nation was the world’s largest producer for a second month in a row, displacing Russia which had been first in February.
    Brent for August settlement traded at $63.81/bbl, down 6 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europeexchange at 2:58 p.m. local time.

  23. Hubbert on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 3:19 pm 

    Funny thing, all these stupid wars have cost U.S. more oil than it gained from it. If US military was a country, it would would be wasting more oil that USA as a country.

    Unfortunately, this corrupt, military complex is probably the last thing to go before this stupid country implodes.

  24. rockman on Wed, 24th Jun 2015 4:41 pm 

    Greenie – That may be true. But remember whenever GPO happens (2015 or 2055) it won’t be apparent in any chart you plot that year. GPO can only be identified years after it happens. In fact maybe even decades. You have to have long term downslope in order to construct a peak. Look how close the US came to a new PO after the original wad called over 4 decades ago.

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