Hubbert Theory says Peak is Slow Squeeze.
Hubbert-style prediction of future global oil production decline rates, together with recent year-on-year change in BP production data (inc NGLs), and a linear fit to the BP data.
The important point WesTexas makes is that these high UK decline rates were predictable from the Hubbert theory. Recall that the UK has this strange dual peak structure in it's production history. But if you believe it has now settled down into a linear regime, the intercept with the y-axis of that regime is about 13% (correcting for the unit choice in this graph: 130/1000 is 13%):
Hubbert linearization of UK oil production due to Nick Rouse, with yellow line added by me.
Hubbert linearization of BP production data (inc NGLs), Deffeyes fit, my fit, and CERA and Rembrandt Koppelaar projections.
Cumulative production logistic model with URR = 2350gb, K = 5%, and peak at 2005.
Hubbert model of global oil production with URR = 2350gb, K = 5%, and peak at 2005 .
Now let's double check and make a linearization plot and just see that logistics really do give a linear P/Q versus Q plot, and that we get back the 5% and 2350gb we put into the scenario:
Hubbert-style linearization: annual/cumulative production versus cumulative production with URR = 2350gb, K = 5% .
Year-on-year percentage changes in Hubbert model of global oil production with URR = 2350gb, K = 5%, and peak at 2005.
To get a better feeling for the meaning of K, lets look at the US, with K = 5.4% (the intercept of this graph, remember:
Credit Seppo Korpela.
Hubbert-peak model of US, UK, and world production. US has peak at 1970, and K=5.4%. UK has peak in 1999 and K = 13%. World has peak in 2005 and K = 5%. All three have been rescaled to have identical area of 1000 units under them.
Hubbert-style prediction of future decline rates as a function of years after peak, for the US with K=5.4%, the UK with K=13%, and the world with K=5%.
Hubbert-style prediction of future decline rates, together with recent year-on-year change in BP production data (inc NGLs), and a linear fit to the BP data. The last point in the data (2005) is provisional, and is constructed from the first eight months of the EIA monthly series for 2005 compared to the first eight months of 2004.
I should say this somewhat matches my subjective sense as I continue to slowly plough through press releases of all the world's oil projects. I do have the sense that in a number of places, we are not seeing the kind of all-out aggressive exploitation of the resource that happened in the North Sea. Whether it's the tiny rig count in Saudi Arabia, or the disappearing independent oil sector in Russia, there are significant economic and political restrictions on near-term production. That's a bad thing from the perspective of the short-term price picture, but it does mean that there's some oil that will still be around to get used another day.
The good news is that we've got several decades of declines that are quite modest (no doubt interrupted by various nasty shocks and alternately periods when things go somewhat better). That makes adaptations much more feasible - be they more efficient vehicles, tar sands, coal-to-liquids, or windmills. You may recall my claim that the decline rate is the main thing that controls whether the economy can adapt or not:
Simple model of economic response to varying decline rates. If decline rate is low, adaptations and continued economic growth are possible. If decline rates are higher, sustained but orderly economic contractions occur. If decline rates were extremely high, adaptation would be infeasible, and society would collapse.
Whether that's a good thing for the long-term future of humanity is a different question.