Ali Samsam Bakhtiari is a senior planner at the National Iranian Oil Company who has been outspoken over the past few years on his projections that OPEC actually is close to peak production (echoing Matthew Simmons, Deffeyes and others supporting the Hubberts Peak analysis of global oil peak production.)
His latest forecast, published in the April 2004 Oil & Gas Journal, suggests that global oil output could peak at around 81 million barrels a day by 2006-2007 and then steadily decline to about 55 million barrels a day by 2020.
Under no scenario (even the most exotic ones), he reports, could his model be simulated to peak after 2008 — a date that really seems to be the ultimate terminus ad quem.
OPEC is going to need to manage its resources differently -- i.e., prolong their availability, as was not done with Yibal (earlier post). The Middle East petroleum wild card -- do the Saudis have the resources they claim they do, or is the situation closer to that described by Simmons and Bakhtiari?