What Hubbert And Pickens Got Right About Oil, And What's Next  

Posted by Big Gav in

Forbes has an interview with peak oiler Bruce Pile - What Hubbert And Pickens Got Right About Oil, And What's Next.

Kam: So that was Hubbert’s prediction for the US. What about his prediction for a global peak?

Pile: As Hubbert’s projection for a global peak approached in the early 2000s (he had calculated around 2000), slightly fewer considered him a lunatic because his US prediction had been so accurate. His global peak prediction was refined mathematically by Ken Deffeyes, a Shell associate of Hubbert’s, as being 2005. And he was right.

We’ve been on an undulating plateau since that peak of about 74 mb/d and are now down to about 70 mb/d depending on whose numbers you go by and what they have added to straight conventional. Deffeyes pegged it in his 2005 book “Beyond Oil” and in his 2001 book “Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.”

Kam: So why do we constantly hear that peak oil was baloney?

Pile: This chart explains it.

Here we see just what is propping us up from the disasters of peak oil. The two big props are the pale green one and especially the pink one – that is fracked gas liquids (NGL, actually from natural gas production) and shale oil (unconventional crude).

This difference in conventional crude and total liquids is behind all the arguing. “Peak total liquids” has not happened yet, and with shale, may not happen for a long time.

Peak conventional crude did happen, and it happened exactly as Hubbert and Pickens said. Without the pink prop, we would be back on Hubbert’s curve, and Pickens estimates something like $175 oil. And without the natural gas shale fracking giving us the green prop, total “oil” price would go even higher.

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