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Sans Backdating By ASPO, We're Not Running Out Of Oil Anymore


click to enlarge ... more peak oil charts at my SA Instablog & website


Campbell URR components

1,650 Original pre-1996 Discoveries 1,650
0 post-1995 backdates 417
0 post-1995 net discoveries 362
150 future Conventional allowance 75
000 future Non-Conv allowance 19


March 25 2012 delayed FreeVenue public release of Dec 25th MemberVenue guidance - As I predicted in 2007, global All Liquids URR/EUR is headed for 6-Tb ... not the ultra conservative resource projected by Colin Campbell of ASPO-IE. Colin Campbell published his first Historical Discoveries graph in 1996. It was based on his estimated URR of 1800 billion barrels (Gb) and was comprised of 1650-Gb of Discovered crude & a 150-Gb allowance for probable Future Discoveries. His 2007 version (at left) is misleading in the sense that its backdating methodology gives the perception of "a well running dry".

My 2007 chart revealed for the first time how ASPO had stealthily hid record levels of Discoveries & Reserve Growth by clever and non-transparent backdating. The chart's hashed yellow bars illustrate what this ASPO Discoveries Chart would look like w/o the deceptive backdating. Now, four years later, the tall lime bars emphasize dramatically why Colin Campbell & ASPO have never updated their classic graph!

The gloomy chart was given wide dissemination at a time when ASPO had been hijacked by the McPeaksters ... a fringe fraternity that has been promoting "imminent" Peak Oil since 1989. I consider the premise behind the practice of backdating as sound. However, McPeaksters have chose to depict the measure with an utter disregard for transparency. IMHO, this was done to mislead and cause alarmism. Today's revelations leave McPeaksters stymied in defending their "well running dry" or "running out of oil" rhetoric.

The new chart depicts BP's increases in URR for 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 ... increasing their own URR to 2,787-Gb. In comparison, my 22-model URR estimates study averages 3,820-Gb & my 15-model Tier-1 Depletion Scenarios project infers All Liquids URR is 4,330-Gb. My own PS-2500 model presently gauges URR to be 7.928-Gb. Colin Campbell has raised his URR by another 89-Gb to 2,523-Gb this year.

The McPeakster doom position is completely undermined by the realization the growth trend has resumed its post-2006 pace, with an avg 66-Gb/yr in additions by BP. That's double the rate of annual consumption! The prospect of Discoveries dwindling to nothingness as shown in ASPO's 2007 depiction is absurd. Campbell expects only 75-Gb of future discoveries of Regular Conventional & 19-Gb of non-Conventional resource over the next century.

This is unrealistic by any measure. And thus Colin Campbell continues to represent a camp of fear mongers that would have the public believe the world is "running out of oil". It is a fraud and deception enabled by groups like theOilDrum, PeakOildotcom & irresponsible pundits such as Jeff Rubin, Robert Hirsch, Chris Skrebowski, Kjell Aleklett & Charles Maxwell.

The oil sector operates in a framework founded on the understanding the Proved Reserves / Annual Production ratio will be kept at 40 (years). This has been the practice for three decades. Once attained, the ratio is kept in status quo merely by adding just over annual consumption each year. This is conventional supply chain management. The McPeakster hypothesis that oil peaks 60 years after the discovery peak is groundless and without merit. In 1989, they told everyone the peak came 30 years after. The fraternity is not credible 'cuz they've been adding a year to their theory ever since...

Chart Dissection: TRENDLines adaptation of the 2007 ASPO Discoveries graphic updates it with the 2011 Campbell All-Liquids URR Estimate of 2,523-Gb, but then draws attention to the magnitude of post-1995 "backdates" & reveals what happened after 2006. These 5 components represent Campbell's original 1,800-Gb plus his 723-Gb of post-1995 additions to URR:

  • the original 1,650-Gb ASPO/XOM Discoveries-to-1995 are shown in black

  • the 1996 to 2006 Net Discoveries of 97-Gb in aqua plus 265-Gb in lime Net Discoveries via BP = 362-Gb total

  • the 93-Gb allowance for Future Discoveries are red (conventional) & gray .(non-conv)

  • 417-Gb of new Discoveries & Reserve Growth backdated by ASPO in yellow

  • the same 417-Gb with year of repatriation in yellow hash

The yellow hash bars represent the 417-Gb of 1996-2006 New Discoveries & Reserve Growth that Colin Campbell backdated (yellow top-ups). One gets a very different impression of Peak Oil viewing the past "sans backdating". But it gets worse. Since 1996, Campbell has always incorporated an Allowance for Future Discoveries of Regular Conventional Oil (shown in red ). It was 126-Gb in 2007 & is down to 75-Gb today. But nobody realized ('til our 2007 exposé) that Campbell conveniently hid from each chart & table (in his presentations and monthly newsletters) the important figure representing Undiscovered Non-conventional Fields. It was 368-Gb in 2007, but after four years of discoveries/reserve growth (2007-2010 lime bars) is down to a mere 19-Gb ( gray bars) today.

Now let us compare the bold black Annual Production line in ASPO's graph to the TrendLines Annual Consumption coral chart line. ASPO would have one believe New Discoveries & Reserve Growth has not exceeded annual production since 1980. But by illuminating ASPO's own annual revisions before Backdating, we see that substantial URR progress was made in nine of the last fifteen years.

Finally, the ASPO Future Fields & Reserve Growth allowances are addressed. While Campbell depicts a future with insignificant URR growth of 7-Gb in 2007 and tailing off to nothingness in 2040 representing 126-Gb, the TRENDLines chart shows that gloomy forecast has had a bad start: the 2011 BP Annual Statistical Report reveals the last four years in fact yielded 49, 105, 73 & 38-Gb of new Proved Reserve Discoveries & Reserve Growth.

There is little doubt Colin Campbell's 2,523-Gb URR model is deficient in its projection of future growth (by omitting non-conventional volume) and over time will be upward revised to 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or even 8-Tb. This is becoming increasingly evident with each succeeding annual TRENDLines chart update.

original article

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.