An insurmountable rate of oilfield depletion?

Facing an annual decline rate of 4 or even 4.5 per cent, the world must discover and bring online the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia — or one could equally say, a new United States, complete with the shale boom — every four years, or perhaps every three, in order merely to maintain current rates of production.

The rate of decline reflects the depletion of major oil regions like the North Sea and the North Slope of Alaska, and the decreasing flow from countries that were once among the world’s largest producers such as Indonesia and Mexico. But it also reflects the difficulty in increasing production in countries that were supposed to account for much of the future growth in the supply of conventional oil, in particular the three large producers of the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.

Mitchell, Timothy. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. Verso; London. 2013. p. 261-2

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “An insurmountable rate of oilfield depletion?”

  1. Why can’t every country in the world replicate America’s shale boom, or at least all the countries that have comparable tight oil reserves?

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