Oil forecasts and peak productionThe interesting article by Richard C. Duncan (OGJ, May 26, 2003, p. 18) analyzes three oil production forecasts predicting peaks between 2003 and 2016. Although much current interest centers around when world oil rates will actually peak, a much more important issue is the rate at which it will subsequently decline.Duncan suggests two answers: –2.52% and –0.23%; a ten-fold difference! Simple extrapolation at these two rates yields apparent future world "reserves" of either 950 or 10,500 billion bbl (using 2002 production of 66 million bo/d excluding NGLs). A Hubbert-type "fit" of world oil history yields a 7% decline over much of the future, id...

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