The Oil Age Journal


The paper starts with background of how the author became involved in oil forecasting, and in particular with the Petroconsultants’ studies of the mid-1990s. Since then author has continued to model future oil and gas production as new data become available. This paper describes the data and methodology in the author’s current model of global oil production out to 2200, and covers the following:

– Data in the model come from a variety of sources, including oil industry ‘scout’ proved-plus-probable (‘2P’) data from providers including IHS Energy. From the latter aggregate global oil discovery data the following quantities are subtracted: 300 Gb to recognise likely overstatement of OPEC ‘2P’ reserves; 30% of FSU reserves, to reflect these being ‘ABC1’ rather than ‘2P’; and 200 Gb to reflect Orinoco discoveries in the 1930s.

– Global estimates of ultimately recoverable resources (URRs) by category of oil (and gas) are then determined by a number of methods. These include extrapolation of ‘creaming curves’ of volume discovered vs. number of exploration (‘new-field wildcat’) wells drilled, out to, typically, double the current number of such wells; extrapolation of ‘creaming curves’ of volume discovered vs. year discovered, to reflect different cycles of discovery; and other approaches including extrapolation of ‘Hubbert linearisation’ of production.

–  These URR values are then used within multi-cyclic Hubbert models to forecast global oil and gas production by oil category out to 2200. Attention is paid in the modelling to conventional oil, fallow fields, scope for EOR, production of heavy and extra-heavy oils, light-tight oil, oil from kerogen, GTLs and CTLs, and biofuels.

Results from the model are based on an assumed global ‘all-liquids’ URR of 3 000 Gb (made up of 2 200 Gb of crude oil plus condensate; 300 Gb of NGPLs, and 500 Gb of extra-heavy oils, including Orinoco and tar sand oil); plus refinery gain, and a long-term 3 Mb/d production of biofuels. On this basis, global production of ‘all-liquids’ is forecast to peak about now, at ~95 Mb/d. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of model uncertainty, and issues of oil demand and price.

Laherrere, J. H. (2015) A Global Oil Forecasting Model based on Multiple ‘Hubbert’ curves and Adjusted Oil-industry ‘2P’ Discovery data: Background, Description & Results. The Oil Age 1 (2) 13-38.

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