Shale oil revolution drives surge in domestic production – Peak oil #34

Brace yourself for this chart, used with permission from Carpe Diem: Energy chart of the day: America’s shale oil revolution will reverse a 40-year decline in crude oil output in just 5.5 years.


carpe diem oil prod 20 to 15


US energy production grew from around 1 million barrels of oil per day (1M bopd) in 1920 to a high point of 10.04M bopd in November 1970. A 40 year decline dropped production to around 5M or 5.5M bopd in 2010.

The shale boom has skyrocketed production to 8.3M bopd in April 2014. The EIA projects production will be pushing 10M bopd at the end of 2015.


What Peak Oil?

Remember this can’t be happening according to Peak Oil doctrine.

Dr. M. King Hubbert, PhD, outlined the core tenets of Peak Oil theology in 1949. He calculated the precise amount of oil in the earth, projected the exact production curve, and calculated the inevitable, unavoidable, permanent, perpetual drop in production as it approached zero.

So that you know there is only the merest whiff of exaggeration in my description of Peak Oil doctrine, you can find links to his original writings in my posts here and here.

Here is an overlay of the Hubbert curve with the graph of actual production.

Dr. Hubbert calculated that US production of oil would be somewhere around 0.7M bopd right now (can’t get an exact number from the graph).

Umm. No. Not quite.

I think that a prediction of about 0.7M bopd is radically divergent from 8.3M bopd. Only off by a factor of about 12. I think we can all agree that is a material error.

Can we finally call that a complete fail?

Explanation for the massive failure seen in the Hubbert curve is that the current production won’t last. Modern disciples of Dr. Hubbert tell us it is a blip. It will collapse next month or next quarter. Any year now the production will fall off the cliff, will get back to the Hubbert curve, and we draw the last drop of oil a small number of years after that.

We need to finally bury Peak Oil theory.

And if you think I exaggerate that Peak Oil true believers are still around, check out any of the multiple websites that are pushing Dr. Hubbert’s theory. Yes, there really are active Peak Oil blog sites operating today.

Still not convinced?  Look at just about any discussion of fracking articles on the ‘net. The Peak Oilers are alive and well.

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