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The Peak of the Oil Age : Analyzing the world oil production Reference Scenario in World Energy Outlook 2008
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2010 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, Vol. 38, no 3, 1398-1414Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The assessment of future global oil production presented in the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2008 (WEO 2008) is divided in to 6 fractions; four relate to crude oil, one to non-conventional oil, and the final fraction is natural-gas-liquids (NGL). Using the production parameter, depletion-rate-of-recoverable- resources, we have analyzed the four crude oil fractions and found that the 75 Mb/d of crude oil production forecast for year 2030 appears significantly overstated, and is more likely to be in the region of 55 Mb/d. Moreover, an alysis of the other fractions strongly suggests lower than expected production levels. In total, our analysis points to a world oil supply in 2030 of 75Mb/d, some 26 Mb/d lower than the IEA predicts. The connection between economic growth and energy use is fundamental in the IEA’s present modeling approach. Since our forecast sees little chance of a significant increase in global oil production, our findings suggest that the ‘‘policy makers, investors and end users’’ to whom WEO 2008 is addressed should rethink their future plans for economic growth. The fact that global oil production has very probably passed its maximum implies that we have reached the Peak of the Oil Age.

Keyword [en]
Future oil supply, Peak oil, World Energy Outlook 2008
National Category
Physical Sciences Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Global Energy Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112219 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2009.11.021 (DOI)000274500000019 (ISI)oai:DiVA.org:uu-112219 (OAI)diva2:285430 (DiVA)
Available from2010-01-11 Created:2010-01-11 Last updated:2011-11-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Production from Giant Gas Fields in Norway and Russia and Subsequent Implications for European Energy Security
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Production from Giant Gas Fields in Norway and Russia and Subsequent Implications for European Energy Security
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects total natural gas output in the EU to decrease from 216 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/year) in 2006 to 90 bcm/year in 2030. For the same period, EU demand for natural gas is forecast to increase rapidly. In 2006 demand for natural gas in the EU amounted to 532 bcm/year. By 2030, it is expected to reach 680 bcm/year. As a consequence, the widening gap between EU production and consumption requires a 90% increase of import volumes between 2006 and 2030. The main sources of imported gas for the EU are Russia and Norway. Between them they accounted for 62% of the EU’s gas imports in 2006. The objective of this thesis is to assess the potential future levels of gas supplies to the EU from its two main suppliers, Norway and Russia. Scenarios for future natural gas production potential for Norway and Russia have been modeled utilizing a bottom-up approach, building field-by-field, and individual modeling has been made for giant and semi- giant gas fields. In order to forecast the production profile for an individual giant natural gas field a Giant Gas Field Model (GGF-model) has been developed. The GGF-model has also been applied to production from an aggregate of fields, such as production from small fields and undiscovered resources.

Energy security in the EU is heavily dependent on gas supplies from a relatively small number of giant gas fields. In Norway almost all production originates from 18 fields of which 9 can be considered as giant fields. In Russia 36 giant fields account for essentially all gas production. There is limited potential for increased gas exports from Norway to the EU, and all of the scenarios investigated show Norwegian gas production in decline by 2030. Norwegian pipeline gas exports to the EU may even be, by 2030, 20 bcm/year lower than today’s level. The maximum increase in exports of Russian gas supplies to the EU amount to only 45% by 2030. In real numbers this means a mere increase of about 70 bcm In addition, there are a number of potential downside factors for future Russian gas supplies to the European markets. Consequently, a 90% increase of import volumes to the EU by 2030 will be impossible to achieve. From a European energy security perspective the dependence of pipeline gas imports is not the only energy security problem to be in the limelight, the question of physical availability of overall gas supplies deserves serious attention as well. There is a lively discussion regarding the geopolitical implications of European dependence on imported gas from Russia. However, the results of this thesis suggest that when assessing the future gas demand of the EU it would be of equal importance to be concerned about diminishing availability of global gas supplies.

Publisher, range
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 61 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 705
Keyword
natural gas production, giant gas fields, depletion rate, forecasting, energy security, EU, Norway, Russia
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112229 (URN)978-91-554-7698-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-02-19, Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from2010-01-29 Created:2010-01-12 Last updated:2010-01-29Bibliographically approved
2. Coal and Oil: The Dark Monarchs of Global Energy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Coal and Oil: The Dark Monarchs of Global Energy : Understanding Supply and Extraction Patterns and their Importance for Future Production
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The formation of modern society has been dominated by coal and oil, and together these two fossil fuels account for nearly two thirds of all primary energy used by mankind.  This makes future production a key question for future social development and this thesis attempts to answer whether it is possible to rely on an assumption of ever increasing production of coal and oil. Both coal and oil are finite resources, created over long time scales by geological processes. It is thus impossible to extract more fossil fuels than geologically available. In other words, there are limits to growth imposed by nature.

The concept of depletion and exhaustion of recoverable resources is a fundamental question for the future extraction of coal and oil. Historical experience shows that peaking is a well established phenomenon in production of various natural resources. Coal and oil are no exceptions, and historical data shows that easily exploitable resources are exhausted while more challenging deposits are left for the future.

For oil, depletion can also be tied directly to the physical laws governing fluid flows in reservoirs. Understanding and predicting behaviour of individual fields, in particularly giant fields, are essential for understanding future production. Based on comprehensive databases with reserve and production data for hundreds of oilfields, typical patterns were found. Alternatively, depletion can manifest itself indirectly through various mechanisms. This has been studied for coal.

Over 60% of the global crude oil production is derived from only around 330 giant oilfields, where many of them are becoming increasingly mature. The annual decline in existing oil production has been determined to be around 6% and it is unrealistic that this will be offset by new field developments, additional discoveries or unconventional oil. This implies that the peak of the oil age is here.

For coal a similar picture emerges, where 90% of the global coal production originates from only 6 countries. Some of them, such as the USA show signs of increasing maturity and exhaustion of the recoverable amounts. However, there is a greater uncertainty about the recoverable reserves and coal production may yield a global maximum somewhere between 2030 and 2060.

This analysis shows that the global production peaks of both oil and coal can be expected comparatively soon. This has significant consequences for the global energy supply and society, economy and environment. The results of this thesis indicate that these challenges should not be taken lightly.

Publisher, range
Uppsala: Acta Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 102 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 760
Keyword
oil production, coal production, depletion rate, forecasting, energy supply
National Category
Physical Sciences Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Global Energy Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-129295 (URN)978-91-554-7863-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-09-24, Polhemsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Ångströmlaboratoriet, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from2010-09-03 Created:2010-08-10 Last updated:2010-09-07Bibliographically approved

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