Global Oil Production is in Decline

Yesterday, the US Energy Information Administration released their estimates of oil production, International Petroleum Monthly, which covers production through November, 2006. World production of oil, including lease condensate, was 73,410,000 barrels per day, down from the high 74,151,000 bpd which was set in May, 2005. A look at the production chart indicates more of an undulating plateau, but the overall direction over time is down.

Let's look at OPEC crude production. According to the figures from the Middle East Economy Survey, OPEC production peaked in October, 2004 at 30,280,000 bpd. Their figures for December, 2006 only show 28,790,000 bpd.

Saudi Arabia, long the swing producer with an alleged 2,000,000 bpd cushion of overcapacity, may be in serious decline if the rumored peak of its Ghawar oil field -- the world's largest is found to be fact.

The North Sea oil field peaked in 1999. the UK has recently turned from an oil exporter into an oil importer.

Mexico's Cantarell oil field, one of the world's largest, is crashing at an alarming rate of 15% per year.