IEA says world has passed oil production peak

Consider from the article, The IEA, Exxon, Shell and Aramco Admit the Peak is Real:

The debate is:

  1. Do you dispute the IEA’s claim that global oil production peaked in 2006? Allright, why do you think they are wrong? I don’t mind. Really.

It is interesting to look at what Exxon says separately in a more recent article:

  1. What is the prognosis if the IEA is right? It probably won’t be BAU even if Exxon is right. Economically, politically, socially- what practical changes might ordinary people expect?

  2. For the non-collapsitarians, are there any sure-things in this, investment-wise? Yes, I chucked The Long Emergency. It raises some interesting points, but some of the arguments are so bad it becomes hard to take seriously. Where is there money to be made in this?

Look, “peak oil” isn’t a physical phenomenon, but an economic phenomenon.

That is, oil gets harder and harder to extract, and so even at the higher prices available at the lower supply, it becomes less and less worthwhile to extract it. It doesn’t matter if oil prices are triple what they were in 2006 if it would cost you 4 times as much to open a new field.

Predicting “we’ll never again extract as much oil as we did in 2006” seems a bit short-horizoned. After all, we’re still in a recession, when the recession is over and demand picks up again, especially in the third world, we’re going to see a production response to try to meet that demand.

I’m not expert, but I doubt anyone disputes that sooner or later production of oil will peak and we’ll be on the back side of that. If it happened in 2006, well, it’s not a huge surprise. But peak oil is not Peak Oil™, i.e. the End of the World as We Know it (I’m actually feeling fine), which has been the crux of this debate in the past.

That this was 5 years ago, so we are already feeling whatever effects we are going to feel, namely that oil will continue to increase slowly in price, with occasional spikes upward or downward due to market forces, but that the overall trend will be up. This will continue until it reaches some event horizon and we all turn into birds who hate our feet and who refuse to ever…

Ok, not that last bit. It will continue until one or more of the myriad technologies waiting in the wings or still in development (or one that hasn’t even been thought of yet) becomes viable, economically, and is slowly adopted as oil as a transport fuel declines. Eventually the price of oil itself will peak, and then crash in the same manner that whale oil isn’t worth much today.

Well, if you really think that the world economy is going to collapse due to Peak Oil™ then your best bet is to stock up on food and ammo, plus read any survivalist or Apocalypse novels you can get your hands on (there was actually an interesting survivalist show on the other day on Discovery or TLC or one of those). I would avoid gold, as you can’t really eat it, and I have my doubts that in the collapse of civilization people will be all that keen on the stuff in any case. I’d recommend (‘saucy drum beat’) lead instead (‘I’m a LEAD farmer, muthahfukah!!’ :p).

From a ‘non-Collapsitarians’ view, I’d do nothing special, unless you happen to have a REALLY good crystal ball, as things are still in flux and it’s hard to predict what technology or technologies will win out in the market place to replace the current system.


Colour me skeptical.

Putting that alleged quote from the IEA into Google returns multiple versions of *exactly *the same article that you linked to. All of those articles are hosted by sites such as “”, “” and “

Nowhere does such a quote appear on the IEA website. Nor is the information ever quoted anywhere except in exact copies of this same article, or message boards discussing this article. Nor is the information even paraphrased by more reputable sources such as Greenpeace or

In other words, you are asking us to believe the following:

*IEA made an astounding anouncement sometime in the past twelve months.

The announcement was a complete about-face on their previous position that world oil demand will continue to grow and that supply will continue to keep pace with demand.

The announcement contradicts the information currently on the IEA wepbpage, which says that global demand will reach **90 mb/d **in 2011, and that supplies will match this demand. Thisis in stark contrast to the claims in the article that production will plateua at 68-**69 mb/d **by 2020.

The astonishing and contradictory information in this announcement has not been discovered by the numerous, well-funded groups that have a vested interest in trumptting peak oil. Instead it has only been discovered by one anonymous person, who wrote one short essay on it.

That essay has only evere been published by anponymous, third string, unreliable websites such as"", “” and “”, despite the exposive revelations it contains.*

In short, I do not believe you.

I do not believe the IEA ever said that oil production has reached its peak. Nor has it ever said that this peak is 69 mb/d. That woulds just be stupid since current production exceeds 69 mb/d.

If the IEA ever said anything remotely like this, it has been badly interpreted and/or deliberately and selectively misquoted for the purposes of the peak oil agenda.

AH HA! As I suspected, it is all lies and deliberate misquoting from the peak oil chicken littles.

Most of the misquote comes from the World Energy Outlook 2010 Executive Summary.

Let’s look at what the IEA really says, shall we?

Gee, isn’t it amazing what a different picture you get when you actually read the all original material, and don;t seletcively quote.

Here is what the IEA actually says:

  1. There is no resource-related oil peak coming within the next 30 years.

  2. There may be an economic peak in crude oil production coming, but that will be driven by *decreased * demand and *decreased *prices. IOW if this peak occurs it will because because people don’t want to use liquid crude oil, not because of any shortage of the damn stuff.

  3. If a peak does occur, it will lead to a *decrease *in oil prices.

  4. There is shitloads of oil available for the foreseeable future. While. There is simply no shortage of the studff, and more is becoming availabe from non-conventional sources every day.

  5. While liquid crude oil may well reach a peak, it will be a peak caused by prices declining as people switch over to alternative energy sources. The peak won’t be caused because anybody has any shortage of oil to sell. Available oil supply will always outstrip any potential demand for the forseable future. We will always have plenty of oil if we want it and we will always be able to get more if we are willing to pay for it.
    The accurate, short summary:

IEA says “There is no foreseeable oil peak caused by any shortage of oil. We have plenty of oil for anything we choose to use it for.”

Rather different from the picture painted by the OP through use of selective quotes. No?

Gee I dunno. There is conflicting information right there in the OP, no? Neither side is my quotes.

It sort of puts an entirely different spin on things though, when the actual organization is quoted. Regardless, peak oil does not equal Peak Oil…even if oil production eventually peaks, it is not going to mean the end of the world, which is what these threads are generally about.


yes, well… any investment advice, xtisme?


The only conflict is caused because the IEA was deliberately misquoted. If you report the IEA accurately then the OP becomes:

IEA: We have heaps of oil, we can currently produce more oil than anybody wants to use and we will be able to do that for the next 30 years at least.

Exxon: We have heaps of oil, we can currently produce more oil than anybody wants to use and we will be able to do that for the next 30 years at least.

Where is this “conflicting information”?

The only conflict in the OP is the conflict between a dishonest misrepresentation and an honest representation.
Can you please tell us what it is you actually wish to debate?

Do you want to debate whether the IEA actually said that the world has passed peak oil production? No, the IEA has never said anything remotely like that. It is a lie.

Do you want to debate whether the oil peak has already occurred? No, the peak has not occurred. Oil production has increased over the past 12 months and will continue to increase over the next 12 months?
Do you want to debate what the peak will be caused by when it does occur? If the peak does occur in the foreseeable future it will be caused by lack of demand for liquid crude and a decrease in prices.
Do you want to debate the effects of peak oil? The effects will be unpredictable, though minimal in the overall scheme of things and, most importantly, of gradual onset. IOW the effects will be more like the effects of the railway than like the effects of a war.

How about the comments of a prominent current politician?

From the article, U.S. needs Reagan’s approach, Palin says

Are you trying to say that suppressing domestic oil production will not lead to some kind of post-Mad-Max nightmarescape?

I gave it in my first post. :slight_smile:

Seriously? Sarah Palin? :stuck_out_tongue:


IOW, where energy policy is concerned… Seriously? The Right?

I still have no idea what you are trying to debate here. I assume it is a joke. You keep posting links to other websites and making cryptic comments about them.

Can you please just state clearly what it is you wish to debate and what stance you are taking on that topic?

In terms of what yu have so far posted:

This is begging the question. The IEA never made any such claim. I do not dispute the claim they actually made. The claim that world oil production will continue to increase for the next 30 years.

As the IEA notes in it report, the prognosis is essentially BAU, with an orderly and economically driven shift form liquid crude to alternative oil/hydrocarbon sources.

Why do you believe that?

Nothing significant according to the experts in the field. Slightly higher fuel prices and associated price rises. But nothing that will overshadow other late 20th century economic changes.

Yes, non-conventional oil resources. Tar sands, oil shales etc. That is as safe a bet as you are going to get on this issue.

According to the web site, world oil production has been flat since 2005. Another site worth some indepth reading is

I have seen analysis of these data which deride this conclusion as ‘wishful thinking’. The link is embedded somewhere in the comments of the already posted links, I’ll find it eventually…

So, basically Peak Oil, only with the demand difference made up for in alternative/advanced (more expensive) hydrocarbons.

Higher fuel prices = inflation. I think it will change the economic paradigm for enough people to be politically relevant.

I disagree. The idea of $5 gas or $150 oil barrels isn’t coming into dispute. I think once those kinds of energy prices become permanent, something will have to give. It changes the arithmetic.

When you do, and when you can tell us what your position is WRT to theta, then let me know. We will be able to debate it.

No, nothing at all like peak oil.

Peak oil means, at least, that there will be a plateua in oil production. In this scenario oil production continues to increase for the next 30 years.

The difference is not “made up for in alternative/advanced (more expensive) hydrocarbons”. The difference is made up for in alternative oil. Oil that is not any more expensive than liquid crude.

How is a scenario in which oil production rises indefinitely in any *way *like a peak oil scenario?

What is your evidence for this?

Yeah, it is. No reputable organisation makes such a claim. The IEA says that $113 is the highest it will reach in the foreseeable future.

All sorts of things “change the arithmetic” That is such a meaningless term that it can’t fail to be true. The internet “changed the arithmetic”, the railways "“changed the arithmetic”, spaceflight "“changed the arithmetic”, nuclear weapons “changed the arithmetic”, Spet 11 “changed the arithmetic”, birth control pills "“changed the arithmetic”.

As you can see, all sorts of things have “changed the arithmetic”. None of them led to societal collapse, or even transformed society at any greater rate than it was already changing.

“Changing the arithmetic” doesn’t lead to social collapse. It doesn’t even lead to gross societal change. “Changing the arithmetic” leads to changes that are unpredictable, though minimal in the overall scheme of things and, most importantly, of gradual onset. Changes brought about by “changing the arithmetic” are almost never significant and certainly nothing that will overshadow other late 20th century economic changes.

Almost makes you think it is being driven by market forces, doesn’t it?

Wrongo. Those ideas ARE coming in dispute. Sure, they’ll come about, but just when? 20 years from now? Certainly not in the very near future.

No, it doesn’t. It’s just data. For me the price of oil isn’t driven by market forces. The price is driven by cartels and government dealings.


This is the question I want to get at. Isn’t it also driven by supply constraints? Maybe not? What are the true facts?