November 5, 2008

Timing of Peak Oil: Various Estimates

This DOE chart gives some of the predictions made regarding when peak oil would occur. Simmons believes that we probably reached the peak in 2005. Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), which takes a sharply contrasting view, saw it as occuring after 2020 in a 2004 study.

Estimates of the peak will be revised under the influence of the November 2008 report of the International Energy Agency showing a 9% depletion rate for existing fields, far larger than the 4.5% estimated by CERA.

That new estimated annual depletion rate will also affect estimates of the amount of oil ultimately to be recovered, about which there is considerable disagreement.

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