An Analysis of U.S. and World Oil Production Patterns Using Hubbert-Style Curves View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2000-01

AUTHORS

Albert A. Bartlett

ABSTRACT

A quantitative analytical method, using a spreadsheet, has been developed that allows the determination of values of the three parameters that characterize the Hubbert-style Gaussian error curve that best fits the conventional oil production data both for the U.S. and the world. The three parameters are the total area under the Gaussian, which represents the estimated ultimate (oil) recovery (EUR), the date of the maximum of the curve, and the half-width of the curve. The “best fit” is determined by adjusting the values of the three parameters to minimize the root mean square deviation (RMSD) between the data and the Gaussian. The sensitivity of the fit to changes in values of the parameters is indicated by an exploration of the rate at which the RMSD increases as values of the three parameters are varied from the values that give the best fit. The results of the analysis are as follows: (1) the size of the U.S. EUR of oil is suggested to be 0.222 × 1012 barrels (0.222 trillion bbl) of which approximately three-fourths appears to have been produced through 1995; (2) if the world EUR is 2.0 × 1012 bbl (2.0 trillion bbl), a little less than half of this oil has been produced through 1995, and the maximum of world oil production is indicated to be in 2004; (3) each increase of one billion barrels in the size of the world EUR beyond the value of 2.0 × 1012 bbl can be expected to result in a delay of approximately 5.5 days in the date of maximum production; (4) alternate production scenarios are presented for world EURs of 3.0 and 4.0 × 1012 bbl. More... »

PAGES

1-17

References to SciGraph publications

  • 1998-03. The End of Cheap Oil in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
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