Kuwait reaches peak oil

It’s official.

The 2nd largest oilfield in the world has, after 60 years of pumping.. reached its’ **peak production.

[T]he Kuwait [national] Oil Company revealed … The peak output of the Burgan oil field will now be around 1.7 million barrels per day, and not the two million barrels per day forecast for the rest of the field’s 30 to 40 years of life, Chairman Farouk Al Zanki told Bloomberg.

He said that engineers had tried to maintain 1.9 million barrels per day but that 1.7 million is the optimum rate. Kuwait will now spend some $3 million a year for the next year to boost output and exports from other fields.

And yet… the International Energy Agency.. would have you believe something much different.

Last week the International Energy Agency’s report said output from the Greater Burgan area will be 1.64 million barrels a day in 2020

So either we’re 15 years ahead of schedule… or someone is not being completely honest.

Unfortunately for us, oil derricks don’t lie.

How long will it be before Ghawar, in Saudi Arabia, the largest oil field in the world peaks? Given it is about the same age as Burgan, what do you think?

**For those not familiar, “peak” refers to the pumping capacity of an oil field… once the peak is reached, the oil field in question will never again pump out more oil/day than it has before because as an oil field is emptied, it becomes harder and harder to extract the oil from the bottom of the well. Most if not all, of the current oil fields in the US and Canada have peaked, as have those in the North Sea.

7 replies on “Kuwait reaches peak oil”

  1. Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock. One more major problem getting little attention except for the complaints from the public about high prices and large profits. Meantime, the end is in sight… Oil at no price.

    In this matter, you have made me see the light, Chris.

  2. What frightens me is less the end of cheap oil itself… humans will adapt… it’s what we do best.

    What worries me much more are the possibility of a new age of wars between large powers as they fight for the scraps… unfortunately, humans are very good at killing each other.

    (And yes, I consider the 2003 invasion of Iraq as possibly the first in a modern age series of resource wars… when both the 1st and 2nd largest oil fields in the world are bordering Iraq… and both are US Allies… how can oil *not* be a contributing factor?)

  3. “What worries me much more are the possibility of a new age of wars between large powers as they fight for the scraps… unfortunately, humans are very good at killing each other.”

    Actually, you articulated my own unspoken thought. I would most emphatically agree with you about oil on one level, for Chirac it really was ALL about oil when it came to his support of Saddam. Sneaky, two-faced bastard that he is. I just keep wondering why oil seems so dear now if we gained so much from the war to affect regime change in Iraq. And where is that doggone pipe-line we were supposed to be getting to be better able to get more oil?

    As an historical point regarding WWII, it is interesting that in that “good” war, oil was a very large motivation for the Japanese to attack the US as we had cut off Japan’s oil supplies to punish them for the aggression against China and other Asian countries. Hubris required them to retaliate against the US’s affrontry by destroying our navy at Pearl Harbor. We just asked for it, I guess.

  4. Oil has been “dear” to us since the dawn of the industrial age. As you point out… nearly every war in the past century can probably, at some level, be attributed to the quest for “resource security”.

    Thus, Occams Razor would have it that if a major, oil needy country invades a region with the largest proven oil reserves in the world… it’s probably doing it for oil… just as those most vehemently opposed (France/Germany/Russia) are likely doing it because they too have their own interests at stake.

    The disconnect is this. The US Administration said “Regime Change” would change everything… democracy, freedom, blah balh blah… at the same time thinking they’d automatically have “Saudi Arabia Ver. 2” to carry the US economy into the 21st century.

    Unfortunately, their hubris and arrogance blinded them to the fact that they’d have to do a lot more work to make that happen… and now, it looks most likely as though Iraq will, at best, struggle to reach it’s pre-war oil production… let alone set about increasing production in its’ vast reserves *and* sending that increased production to the US…. and at worst… will develop already strong relationships with the USs’ competitors… Iran, China, Russia, Europe and do so with a less-than-democratic form of government.

  5. At it’s basic level all human aggression can be traced to competition for control (power) of resources.

    I’m tired of the same arguments over Iraq. You’ve made your point so many times, we’ve all lost count. Nothing new to add to your side it seems so I’ll defer rebuttal to those more energetic.

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