Mexico and Peak Oil

Posted on January 25, 2010

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When I saw this graph (link below) of crude oil production in Mexico it struck me that the timeframe shown – 2001 to 2009 – is identical with period that ASPO (the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas) has been active. In January 2001 Colin Campbell wrote his first newsletter for ASPO (not jet officially formed) that he began thus:

“This first humble and somewhat egocentric edition is intended to do no more than plant a seed that hopefully will take root and grow. It is egocentric for the simple reason that since it is the first edition, no other contributors have had reason to report in on their work, but that too will change as we progress.”

(Show the figure)

Back then in January 2001 thoughts of Peak Oil were far away. Instead, Mexico planned to increase production from its giant oilfield Cantarell and the field soon became the world’s second most productive at 2 million barrels of oil per day. By 2005 the backlash had already occurred since production from Cantarell began to decrease and then the decline became very steep. I hope that there is no longer anyone who denies that Mexico has passed Peak Oil!

In the spring of 2004 I met a representative of the Mexican oil company Pemex at a conference in Lisbon and we discussed future oil production in Mexico. At that time there was no sign of peak oil. Some months earlier my student Anders had done a “depletion” calculation for Mexico and had concluded that daily production would decline by 820,000 barrels from 2003 to 2009. I probably don’t need to say that this result was casually dismissed as unrealistic. We now see that Mexico had a production maximum in 2003 of approximately 3.4 million barrels per day (Mb/d) and that production actually declined by 0.8 Mb/d [800,000 barrels/day] by 2009 to around 2.6 Mb/d. We have now further developed and published the method that Anders used in 2003. The fact that we could predict quite well what then happened in Mexico encourages us to, once again, make a calculation for Saudi Arabia including Ghawar, the world’s largest oilfield.

For Peak Oil, the seed that Colin sowed in 2001 has certainly taken root and grown. Unfortunately, we still have much to do before the world’s leaders accept the reality of Peak Oil.

(Swedish)

Då jag såg denna graf av råoljeproduktionen i Mexico slog det mig att den tidsram som visas, 2001 – 2009, är identisk med den tid som ASPO (The Association for the study of Peak Oil and Gas) haft aktiviteter. I januari 2001 skrev Collin Campbell sitt första nyhetsbrev för ASPO (in formation) och han började så här:

“This first humble and somewhat egocentric edition is intended to do no more than plant a seed that hopefully will take root and grow. It is egocentric for the simple reason that since it is the first edition, no other contributors have had reason to report in on their work, but that too will change as we progress.”

(Hämta figur)

Då i januari 2001 var tanken på Peak Oil långt borta. I stället planerade Mexico en produktionsökning från sitt gigantfält Cantarell och snart blev fältet världens näst största producent med 2 miljoner fat olja om dagen. Men redan 2005 kom bakslaget, produktionen i Cantarell började minska och sedan blev det störtloppsbacke nedför. Jag hoppas att det inte finns någon som förnekar att Mexico har passerat Peak Oil.

Våren 2004 träffade jag en representant för Pemex på en konferens i Lissabon och vi diskuterade den framtida produktionen i Mexiko. Då fanns inga tecken på Peak Oil. Min student Anders hade några månare tidigare gjort en ”depletion” beräkning för Mexiko och kommit fram till att produktionen skulle minska med 820.000 fat om dagen från 2003 till 2009. Jag behöver förmodligen inte nämna att påståendet viftades bort som orealistiskt. Vi ser nu att Mexiko hade en maxproduktion 2003 med ca 3.400.00 Mb/d och att produktionen just minskat fram till 2009 med 800.000 Mb/d till cirka 2.600.000 Mb/d. Den metod som Anders använde 2003 har vi nu vidareutvecklat och publicerat. Det faktum att vi ganska väl kunde förutspå vad som skulle hända i Mexico ger inspiration att på nytt göra en beräkning för Saudiarabien med Gawhar, världens största oljefält.

Vad det gäller ”Peak Oil”, det frö som Collin sådde 2001, så har det verkligen slagit rot och vuxit. Tyvärr har vi fortfarande mycket att göra innan världens ledare accepterar Peak Oil.

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