The Oil Age Journal


This paper uses the Geological Resources Supply-Demand Model (GeRs-DeMo) to present detailed long-term projections of world fossil fuel production, including from non-conventional fossil fuels. The paper first assesses the likely range of the global ultimately recoverable resources (URRs) of the three main fossil fuels: oil, gas and coal. This yields a URR range, in energy terms, for total global fossil fuels combined, including non-conventional sources, of about 50, 75, and 120 ZJ in our ‘Low’, ‘Best guess’ (BG) and ‘High’ scenarios, respectively.

Running the model with these data indicates that the annual global production of all fossil fuels combined (including the non-conventionals) is likely to peak at between 500 and 750 EJ/y, with this peak occurring as early as 2020 in the Low scenario, and as late as 2050 in the High scenario. In our ‘Best-guess’ scenario, global production of all fossil fuels combined is likely to peak around 2025, at 570 EJ/y. This date of peak is much earlier than many analysts suppose. We compare these forecasts with other published studies, and find that our High scenario forecast represents a probable realistic upper-bound to total fossil fuel production.

Finally, we convert our forecasts into CO2 emissions, and compare these to IPCC projections. The result suggests that the higher emission scenarios modelled by the IPCC are not plausible, at least if driven by CO2 emissions primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels.

Wang, J., Mohr, S., Ellem, G., Ward, J., Giurco, D. & Bentley R. (2017) Production Outlook for Global Fossil Fuel Resources, and Resulting CO2 Emissions. The Oil Age 3(2) 43- 74

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