IBM and Stanford University Developing New Organic Catalysts for New Types of Biodegradeable, Biocompatible Plastics
UNECE Adopts Type Approval for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles’ Electric Safety Requirements; Applies in 41 Countries

Kuwait Researchers Forecast Global Conventional Crude Oil Production Will Peak in 2014; New Multicyclic Hubbert Model

Nashawi
World crude oil production model. Credit: ACS, Nashawi et al. Click to enlarge.

Scientists from Kuwait University and Kuwait Oil Company are forecasting that world conventional crude oil production will peak in 2014—almost a decade earlier than some other predictions. Their study is in published the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.

Ibrahim Nashawi and colleagues point out that rapid growth in global oil consumption has sparked a growing interest in predicting “peak oil”—the point at which oil production reaches a maximum and then declines. Scientists have developed several models to forecast this point, and some put the date at 2020 or later. The Hubbert forecast model—one of the most famous—accurately predicted that oil production would peak in the United States in 1970. The model has since gained in popularity and has been used to forecast oil production worldwide. However, recent studies show that the model is insufficient to account for more complex oil production cycles of some countries. Those cycles can be heavily influenced by technology changes, politics, and other factors, the scientists say.

The new study describes the development of a new version of the Hubbert model that accounts for these individual production trends to provide a more realistic and accurate oil production forecast.

Even though forecasting should be handled with extreme caution, it is always desirable to look ahead as far as possible to make an intellectual judgment on the future supplies of crude oil. Over the years, accurate prediction of oil production was confronted by fluctuating ecological, economical, and political factors, which imposed many restrictions on its exploration, transportation, and supply and demand. The objective of this study is to develop a forecasting model to predict world crude oil supply with better accuracy than the existing models.

Even though our approach originates from Hubbert model, it overcomes the limitations and restrictions associated with the original Hubbert model. As opposed to Hubbert single-cycle model, our model has more than one cycle depending on the historical oil production trend and known oil reserves. The presented method is a viable tool to predict the peak oil production rate and time. The model is simple, accurate, and totally data driven, which allows a continuous updating once new data are available.

—Nashawi et al.

Using the new model, the scientists evaluated the oil production trends of 47 major oil-producing countries, which supply most of the world’s conventional crude oil—essentially, every country around the globe that has a proven oil reserves higher than 0.468 BSTB (billion stock tank barrels). They also classified the countries into OPEC and non-OPEC countries. Among their findings:

  • The world’s ultimate crude oil reserve is estimated to be 2,140 BSTB

  • Remaining recoverable oil is 1,161 BSTB

  • World production is estimated to peak in 2014 at a rate of 79 MMSTB/D.

  • OPEC has remaining reserve of 909 BSTB, which is about 78% of the world reserves. OPEC production is expected to peak in 2026 at a rate of 53 MMSTB/D.

  • Non-OPEC countries have already reached their peak production of 39.6 MMSTB/D in 2006. According to the analysis, the ultimate reserve of these countries is 819 BSTB and their future recoverable oil is 252 BSTB. Non-OPEC countries hold 22% of the world crude oil reserves, which are being depleted at an annual rate of 5.6%.

  • On the basis of 2005 world crude oil production and current recovery techniques, the world oil reserves are being depleted at an annual rate of 2.1%.

Despite the current world economical crisis, the authors speculate that OPEC will remain the main world supplier of crude oil up to the end of this century.

Resources

  • Ibrahim Sami Nashawi, Adel Malallah and Mohammed Al-Bisharah (2010) Forecasting World Crude Oil Production Using Multicyclic Hubbert Model. Energy Fuels, Article ASAP doi: 10.1021/ef901240p

Comments

Treehugger

Dan

well it depends where you put the cell, but the payback is more like 4 years on Si.

so by what miracle if would require almost no increase of electricity generation to power 50millions electric cars ? I don't need to read that link to guess that it is deeply flawed, if you ride 15 000miles/year it will requires like about 4000Kwh/year (0.25KWh/mile) which is about 10Kwh/day right? my electrical bill says that I consume about 4Kwh/day for my apartment. So before citing whatever link you should do a simple math to check if their claim is serious. More than half of the energy you consume every day is to power your car, like it or not.

Scott

I don't know what you're all worrying about, you talk about a $4 gallon like its the end of the world. We pay $8-$10 here so we know what its like. Hasn't changed. We strill drive around to get to work etc - we just pay more and get used to paying more - its called elasticity in pricing - or in laymans terms caught by the "boXXXcks".

clett

@Treehugger,

Your appartment is a bit like mine (I use ~3 kWh per day), but unfortunately the majority of people in the 'developed' world use much, much more electricity per day. Typical family homes in the USA can average 20 kWh per day, and more if they use electric heating.

If these homes changed their refridgerators / AC units and lightbulbs to low energy versions they could easily save enough electricity to run their BEV cars without demanding any extra electricity from the grid.

Account Deleted

100% transition to BEVs in the US will increase kWh consumption by 23%

There are about 300 million vehicles of all sorts in the US of which 250 million are passenger vehicles.1) Combined they travel 3000 billion miles each year or 10,000 miles per vehicles.2) Electric vehicles use about 0.3kWh to travel one mile so you need 900 (0.3*3000) billion kWh to do all US transportation by BEVs. The US consumed 3900 billion kWh in 2007 so a complete transition to BEVs will necessitate about 23% more electricity production.3) Wind power can easily do that cost effectively. Wind power currently costs about 0.07USD per kWh versus 0.05 USD per kWh for coal. Most certainly wind power will only cost 0.04 USD kWh by 2020 when large 5MW gearless turbines will be the norm.

The only thing we truly need (and currently don’t have) to solve our energy/climate problems cost effectively is the ability to produce lithium batteries at 150 USD per kWh. I think this is entirely possible but I don’t know when it will be possible. Hopefully before 2025.


****
1) 300 million US vehicles
2) 3000 billion miles
3) Consumption of 3900 billion kWh in USA

Arne

Treehugger,

the energy produced by the Si cells that individual put on their roof, barely offset the input energy to make the cell.

Now you start looking like Stan Peterson, repeating false information in the hope someone will start to believe it. All research shows solar panels have an energy payback time of a few years.

Show the data to prove it.

Arne

Disregard that, I now see that the post duplication bug made me believe Treehugger started behaving like someone else...

Arne

Henrik,

Your calculation says it all. I once did the same calculation for the UK and ended up with a figure of 17%.

The energy need for electric cars is generally overstated. The two most common causes:

1. Projection of the personal situation on an entire nation.
2. The "1 kWh electricity equals 1 kWh of primary energy" assumption.

Arne

Treehugger,

I've done some research on your claim "You need more than 2000 giants wind mill to offset a single coal or nuclear power plant, the amount of concrete only is 10 times more than what you need to build a nuclear plant".

For the Olkiluoto plant, an estimated 250000 cubic metres of concrete are needed for 1600 MWe. That is ~150 m3 per MW.

For a 2.3 MW E70, a concrete base of 280 cubic metres is necessary. If we assume we need 3 MW of wind to replace 1 MW of nuclear, then on a comparable basis you need ~360 m3 per MW (nuclear equivalent).

That is more like 2x as much, not 10x.

And to put the amount of concrete into perspective. The production of 1 ton of concrete produces about 1.5 ton of CO2. At a density of 2.4 kg/m3, the base of one Enercon E70 causes 1000 tons of CO2. A coal plant emits ~1 kg of CO2 per kWh. So after producing 1 million kWh, the wind turbine has recovered those emissions. At a modest 20% capacity factor, the wind turbine produces 24 * .20 * 2300 = 11000 kWh per day. That takes around 3 months to generate 1 million kWh.

HarveyD

Too many over worry about the increased e-power required for 100% e-vehicles fleets.

The 10 Kwh/day average per e-vehicle is fair enough but it is not at all impossible to supply since most of the recharges will be done at night time when power consumption is usually at its lowest.

Secondly, most of us can reduce normal e-power consumption by 10+ Kwh/day with very well known power saving means such as ultra high efficiency heat pumps; R 40+ isolated ceilings, walls and floors; R 9+ windows and doors; heat pump equipped hot water (smaller) tanks; CFLs; induction heat surface stoves; lower power consumption appliances; DEL/LCD TVs and PC displays with power saving mode; Zero power consumption standby mode for all electronic gadgets; etc

Most of the above changes cost $$ but will be recovered within 5 to 8 years when existing subsidies and extra comfort level are considered.

For example, by applying most of the above based on maximum effects, we reduced e-power consumption from 65 Kwh/day to less than 25 Kwh/day for our all electric residence. The savings are enough for 4 electrified vehicles. Over 80% of the all electric residences in our area could achieve the same results. The other 20% would require larger investments.

Basically, in an all electric environment, the e-power required for up to 4 e-vehicles per residence can be completely offset, thereby reducing extra demand to zero.

ai_vin

Don't forget Anne, that 280 cubic metres is likely an upper limit. The actual amount of concrete a wind turbine needs at it's base is dependant on soil conditions. If you've got bedrock close at hand you might need very little concrete, just blast a hole and fill in the inches of space left around the tower. Heck I remember reading about a wind farm they built off the coast of Denmark where they didn't use any concrete, they just drove the steel tubes that made up the bottom of the tower into the wet sand of the seabed with a piledriver.

ai_vin

@Treehugger

Dan's point is actually valid but ill written. Your statement was: "Moving the car fleet to electric will require to double the electricity production, that's a formidable effort, and I am not sure ewe can afford it."

While electricity production WILL have to go up by some amount it need not take a "formidable effort" if we use smart chargers. The grid has a lot of unused generating capacity during off-peak hours.

ai_vin

Nevermind, Harvey said it better. :/

DaveD

Treehugger,
You said that we would have to double the production of electricity if we moved the entire fleet to EVs. I went to the DOE and DOT sites and got some numbers to see what percentage of electricity it would use based on current US production:

We produce over 4 Trillion kWh's of electricity in the US currently. We drive about 310 Billion miles. The average EV gets about 4 miles per kWh so that means we would need about 78 Billion kWh if all those miles were traveled by the average EV. That equals about 1.9% of the current US electricity production.

Am I missing something or do you have another source for that estimate we could see?

Treehugger

Ok I need to update my numbers

I did some calculation and moving the entire car fleet to EV would require to increase the electricity production by 23% in fact (close to other number cited above) so less my initial 100% statement. But keep in mind that moving the enire car fleet to EV would only reduce our oil consumption by 50% since the rest is used by trucking, boating, plane and other where EV is not an option. The report cited by Dan if for PHEV so they account for only a portion of the mileages being electric. But ok even 25% increase of power generation is not such a big deal, and that's the beauty of electric car is that it is highly efficient compared to other energy like ICE/petroleum and H2

Anne I know that you rely on reliable source of information in general but still the number for the concrete you cite seems much lower than what I read. to offest 1G of baseload requires 2000 giant wind mills (2MW mill) maybe it is not that much concrete after all, and it is true that the mast and the power line can last longer than the mill itself

Treehugger

Ok I need to update my numbers

I did some calculation and moving the entire car fleet to EV would require to increase the electricity production by 23% in fact (close to other number cited above) so less my initial 100% statement. But keep in mind that moving the enire car fleet to EV would only reduce our oil consumption by 50% since the rest is used by trucking, boating, plane and other where EV is not an option. The report cited by Dan if for PHEV so they account for only a portion of the mileages being electric. But ok even 25% increase of power generation is not such a big deal, and that's the beauty of electric car is that it is highly efficient compared to other energy like ICE/petroleum and H2

Anne I know that you rely on reliable source of information in general but still the number for the concrete you cite seems much lower than what I read. to offest 1G of baseload requires 2000 giant wind mills (2MW mill) maybe it is not that much concrete after all, and it is true that the mast and the power line can last longer than the mill itself

Account Deleted

Treehugger

Today we have alternative technologies that can replace all the various products made from crude oil but the problem is that most of them are not cost effective alternatives because oil at 80 USD a barrel is cheaper. Specifically gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gasses represent 68% (=(18.6+10.3+1.7)/45)) of all crude oil end-products and can be replaced with battery electric vehicles; aviation fuel represents 9.1% (=(4.1/45) and can be replaced by either biofuels and or liquid hydrogen; heavy fuel oil used for shipping represents 3.7% (=1.68/45) and can be replaced by biofuels and or liquid hydrogen; heating oil 3.1% (=1.38/45) can be replaced by electricity; other uses such as plastics and asphalt represents the remaining 15.5% (=7/45) and can be replaced by biomass based products.1)

The most important new technology will be the invention of inexpensive lithium batteries as this will have the biggest impact on our ability to replace oil cost effectively. The chance that we will invent such batteries before we run out of cheap oil below 150 USD per barrel is high and almost a certainty IMO.

I am much more concerned about whether we will invent and deploy cheap batteries and wind power in time to prevent a global warming apocalypse. I hope Mother Nature is more capable of absorbing our CO2 emissions than feared and that we still have a few more decades left to cut CO2 emissions before it is too late to prevent a complete collapse of the global climate system as we know it today. The danger from terrorism and other high profile problems pale in comparison with the danger that mankind faces from global warming so we should really do much more to speed the development of the solutions to this problem. For example, globally we only spend about 1 billion USD on lithium battery development and this is IMO 50 times less than what it should be.

1) Use of oil, note 42 gallons yields 45 gallons of end products

Ron Howell

Rather than the mental image created by the term "Peak Oil", I agree that the decline will be graduated by price increases and alternative sources, although all will be accompanied by a decline in economic activity, which has been driven over the past 50 years by cheap exsomatic energy.
Consider the fact that the average American has at his disposal in an energy intensive economy the energy equivalent of 200 male slaves. That is for each and every one of us. We are less than 5% of the world's population, but consume 25% of the planet's resources. Now imagine the Indian and Chinese populations getting anywhere close to our energy consumption or living standards. It is going to take better the 2.5 planet Earths or more!

The next 50 years are going to see some wrenching changes in the way we all live.

danm

Pardon my skepticism but I do not trust any estimates of current oil reserves. The producers have every incentive to manipulate these stats.
Price hikes can be justified if oil reserves are "Low".
-
The diamond industry has attempted to restrict diamond production for a century and created an artificial shortage.
-
No question that oil is finite but I don't trust any numbers coming from Kuwait.

Will S

danm,

Perhaps you would trust numbers coming from the International Energy Agency?

IEA scandal

db

In order to view peak oil as an economic disaster or the apocalypse you have to ignore basic economics.
First of all, oil companies will not go broke. In every other industry, when it is difficult to raise prices due to competition, companies respond by cutting costs. This is due to innovation. Innovation will not disappear due to peak oil and there are several ways to cut costs in the oil industry so that oil companies can continue to make money.

Secondly, as others have pointed out, higher prices will bring on more supply. Not just that, but higher prices will lead to substitution. We all know that electric cars are viable. Just that they are higher priced and not an EXACT substitute. It doesn't matter.
There is also demand destruction.
Instead of soccer moms driving their kids 30 miles each way in a 14mpg SUV, the kids will play in less far away soccer tournaments.

For those applications that NEED oil, I think you'll also find that there are substitutes.
In Europe you have the choice of expensive high speed trains or else low-cost airlines. With peak oil you will have the choice of expensive high speed trains or expensive airlines.

There are VERY few other cases where oil is an absolute requirement and businesses will innovate solutions to these on a case by case basis.

e.g. Do we really NEED plastic grocery bags?

We WON'T see economic collapse, but we may see an economic climate resembling japan in the 1990s.
i.e. tight

Scott

I think a good point here to raise is that it's easier to predict the end of the world than to think of an alternative. The doomsters are too good at the former.

The comments to this entry are closed.