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World Oil Production

World Oil Production thumbnail

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Dennis Coyne or Ron Patterson.

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy has oil production data by country up to the end of 2015. This is what that looks like from 1988:


The United States increased production by 5.1 million barrels per day from 2010 to 2015. The increase in production from countries around the Persian Gulf over the same period was slightly less at 5.0 million barrels per day. The increase in total world production was 8.4 million barrels per day so the rest of the world declined by some 1.7 million barrels per day. This was despite Canadian production rising 1.0 million barrels per day from oil sands developments plus some other increases from Russia, Brazil, Colombia etc. Most oil producing countries are in well-established long term decline or plateau at best. How these trends will interact can approached from a bottom-up basis. To that end, the following graphs show likely production profiles by region for the next five years.


Saudi Arabia used to be the world’s swing producer. That role has been taken by the shale drillers of the United States. The graphic assumes that enough shale wells are drilled each year to keep US production flat – profitless prosperity. Mexico’s decline is well established for geological reasons and Venezuela’s decline continues for political reasons.


Russian production has held up well and, combined with fields in development, it is assumed that Russian production remains in plateau. The Norwegian and UK production declines are well established.


Algeria and Egypt are in decline. It is assumed that Libyan production does not recover from Tony Blair and Nicholas Sarkozy’s adventure in regime change.


Iranian production peaked in 1974 at 6.1 million barrels per day as the Shah tried to overtake Saudi production. It is assumed that Iranian production is geologically limited. Iraqi production continues rising despite the civil war in that country. Currently at over 4.0 million barrels per day, Iraq’s geological endowment should see production continuing to rise towards 9.0 million barrels per day.


Most oil producing countries in the Asia Pacific region are in well established decline. They were joined by China in 2016 which has two thirds of its production from giant oilfields that have been in production for decades and now have high water cuts and high operating costs. The graph assumes that China will contribute 1.3 million barrels per day of a 2.1 million barrel per day decline for the region over the next five years.

Adding all those production profiles results in production in 2022 that is five million barrels per day lower than world production, per BP’s statistics, in 2015. That could be offset by a faster rise in Iraqi production combined with increased shale oil production. According to this graphic from BTU Analytics:


There are some 290,000 remaining shale oil well locations remaining in the United States. By Enno Peter’s work, about 62,000 shale wells have been drilled in the United States to date. Peak drilling year was 2014 with 14,262 wells drilled for 2.46 million barrels per day of production in January 2015. About half of that number of wells need to be drilled each year now to offset decline in US shale oil production.

From all of the above, not an original conclusion – the US shale oil well inventory is likely to buffer the oil price for at least the next five years.

David Archibald is author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

Peak Oil Barrel by Dennis Coyne

7 Comments on "World Oil Production"

  1. David Roger Milberg on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 11:20 am 

    Peak oil is for the long term, not the short term. These people are focused on the wrong time scale.

    On our side, we may have overestimated global demand, wrongly expecting China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and the other emerging nations to continue at their blockbuster growth rates of the early 2000s.

    Eventually the account comes due no matter how long oil producers can string us along or how much economic growth drops in the emergings.

    When that happens, we’ll be ready.

  2. Cloggie on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 11:38 am 

    Peak oil is for the long term, not the short term. These people are focused on the wrong time scale.

    Exactly right. The Stone Age didn’t end either because we ran out of stones, but because more interesting materials showed up, like iron and copper.

    There never was a Peak Stone Supply, just a Peak Stone Demand.

    Won’t be different with oil.

  3. Cloggie on Sat, 1st Apr 2017 3:53 am 

    First graph: no peak oil in sight. The complete intellectual defeat of amateurs Richard Heinberg and ASPO-2000. Regarding fossil fuel, we merely scratched the surface, pun intended. With the right EROEI-increasing technology there is enough for centuries.

    Obviously we should leave the sludge where it is and only use reserves to set up a new solar energy base.

  4. Davy on Sat, 1st Apr 2017 6:24 am 

    Clog, “splain” why almost all dominant oil producing and consuming countries are in dire straits economically and socially? Please don’t tell me they have the wrong color skin because your Europa is a mess and it is mainly white. It’s called the oil curse and the reality of that curse is deeper than peak oil dynamics it is also a human arrangement without a future. It is now affecting globalism with subtle depletion and overextended economic reach. Yea, we went all in on a depleting energy source and built out an overextended complexity and to top it off we allowed our population to grow by an order of magnitude. Now we are trapped in an existential catch 22 predicaments. We grow we die we degrowth we die. This is the age of death. Hoist the Jolly Roger mate. This trap is all colors and rich and poor alike. Why is Europe, China, and the US teetering on economic collapse? Yea, your wonderful mother Europa is also a mess. Oil is part of the reason for the mess we created. Your renewable world is a fantasy yet to be realized. It is just extending the lie. The lie is modernism and exceptionalism. The truth is in nature. We are getting bitch slapped by the truth and modern man is not listening.

    Keep talking your “IF’s” and “WITH’s”. When I see real results then I will acknowledge your greatness. Right now all your preaching revolves around ifs and withs based upon social revisions and embellishments. It is clear peak oil dynamics are not unfolding like Heinberg and ASPO realized. Does that mean peak oil dynamics are not a systematic disruption? No, clog, they are alive and well. They never sleep and now they are converging with other sources of systematic decay of our modernism with the icing being planetary and biosphere destruction. All this as we breed out of control and contribute to another extinction event and you want to claim exceptionalism. This is a thorn in the side of the fake news societal narrative of techno progress and increasing human exceptionalism.

    I do admire what you are doing individually at your house. I admire what northern Europe is doing with alternatives, conservation, and organized society. This is a great effort that will extend the un-extendable. You fail to acknowledge your wonderful life is because of globalism and globalism is clearly failing. The alternative to globalism is a die off. Globalism is an exploitation system. 3rd world resources and cheap labor is sucked to the 1st world of affluence. No different than Rome and Tikal. Your brave new world’s problem is getting from here to there. We are still “here” and the “there” is running away from you like the tortoise and the hare but without the clever ending.

  5. Cloggie on Sat, 1st Apr 2017 7:00 am 

    It is not out of misplaced chauvinism that I ask you: why is Europe a “mess”?

    We’re richer than ever before. Public debt is under control. Trade balance is OK. Unemployment is overall relatively low (some exceptions apply). In fact employment is too high is you are of the opinion that women should be at home with the kids. Immigration of incompatible people is too high, “indigenous” birth rates are too low, all true. But a “mess”?

    And is America really that bad? I was yesterday green with envy when I saw SpaceX for the first time in history launch a “2nd hand” rocket.

    Africa is better off than ever before, like most of the rest of the world.

    Aren’t we all a little too much in love with the sensationalist collapse narrative, after an imprudent intellectual diet of Richard Heinberg c.s. in the recent past, sexing up an at times a little boring life?

    Is climate change really irreversible?
    Is (limited) global warming really all a negative?

    Environmental issues have arrived in the political realm on a global scale (Trump lagging behind).

    For some mysterious reason I feel fine and don’t foresee a global collapse. Although I do foresee major geopolitical changes ahead.

  6. Davy on Sat, 1st Apr 2017 7:23 am 

    Clog, yea, for a few the world is wonderful “NOW”. Right here right now many of us feel fine. That’s where it ends. With each and every example you put forth for “fine” I can call out a negative. This is a time of turbulence. It is a deceptive time of riches and great accomplishments along with decay, decline, and dysfunction. It is a time that strikes all civilizations near their end and why they can’t and don’t change. They get to a point where those who can guide the ship don’t because they are fine then it is too late. The ship has sailed. The party is in full swing with the icebergs just ahead in the dark. The third class passengers are struggling bellow unable to see what is ahead even if they could. They have been disenfranchised. The rich party above. They talk extravagant stories of greatness and with personal intrigue. Who is the sober one and who is there to say “NO”?

    There is so much to brag about and so much to look forward to if you allow yourself to. I am saying wait a minute and show all measures. Science is telling us something. We need to view what science is saying and use real wisdom not the corrupted kind that got us here. I am saying I do not trust many measures of affluence and progress anymore because they are proven to be fake. I am saying one needs only look to the health of our planet to get answers to our collective future.

    You probably don’t have to worry Clog at your age. You live in a wonderful place and a place with stability and strength. Your home may be one of the last man standing but fall it will if everyone else does. That is the nature of all complex ecosystems and our modernism and globalism is just another ecosystem. We want to think we are different from the birds and the bees but we are not. What is most deceptive is time itself and in the gap between nature’s timescales and human ones how fantasy fills in the timeline. We are frolicking into the lion’s den with cavalierness. Soon we will be a meal.

  7. Cloggie on Sat, 1st Apr 2017 8:11 am 

    Fishing community Urk complaining about noisy wind turbines:

    The turbines in the picture are those installed by Dutch Rail:

    Protests like these increase the pressure to move them to the North Sea.

    Urk lost the battle against 100 turbines of 200 meter height each:

    However, now that the wind park is realized, the citizens of Urk begin to see the advantages:

    A lot of work, wind park tourism and people get used to them.

    It is the same with the Eiffel tower in Paris. When it was built end 19th century everybody considered the tower as “ugly”; throughout the decades the Eiffel tower has become an iconic structure.

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