The Oil Age Journal


This is the third and final part of a three-part paper that looks at the data needed to make forecasts of oil production, and highlights some of the significant problems with these data. The paper is primarily intended for those that forecast oil production, but will be of interest also to those who use such forecasts, to judge the quality of the data employed and hence this aspect of a forecast’s reliability.

The first part of the paper discussed the data by type (e.g., data on production, consumption, and reserves) and pointed out areas where these data are unreliable, in particular with regards to reserves data. This second part included annexes on oil gravity and energy content, oil net-energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and importantly, detailed comparison of proved (‘1P’) vs. proved-plus probable (‘2P’) oil reserves data for a number of countries.

This third part of the paper discusses oil data by source (e.g., data from the IEA, IHS Energy, JODI and the BP Statistical Review of World Energy) and again points out areas where the data are unreliable or must be treated with caution.

Analyses are given of oil data from 47 organisations, but where some of these organisations are covered in considerably more detail than others. For the main data providers analysis is generally under four headings: background information, oil production data, oil reserves data, and oil forecasts. As indicated in Parts-1 and -2 of this paper, this part of the paper also shows that there are considerable problems with much of the generally available oil data, and that analysts need to exert considerable caution in their use.

This final part of the paper also discusses the use of oil data to forecast oil production; and the accuracy of past oil forecasts and projections, of both oil production and oil price.

Laherrère, J., Miller, R., Campbell, C., Wang, J. & Bentley, R. (2016) Oil Forecasting: Data Sources and Data Problems (part 3) The Oil Age 3 (1) 1-135

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