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The Association for
the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

 2nd International Workshop on Oil Depletion
Paris, France, May 26-27 2003
Organised by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
The workshop was held at the  Institut Francais du Pétrole , Rueil Malmaison, Paris.

If information and other material from this proceeding is used the following reference shoul be given:
  Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Oil Depletion, Paris, France, May 26-27 2003,
Edited by K. Aleklett, C. Campbell and J. Meyer, www.peakoil.net/iwood2003

A Realistic View of Long-Term Middle East Production Capacity
A. M. Samsam Bakhtiari

The Middle East is a unique landmass bridging the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.  It now consists of fifteen major countries and one neutral zone.  Four of these countries (Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon) are practically devoid of commercial oil resources.  And the other eleven jointly control oil reserves estimated by Dr. Colin Campbell at 805 bnb (42% of world total) -- made up of 758 bnb discovered and 47 bnb yet-to-find.  These eleven countries, which produced on average 20.8 mb/d and 19.3 mb/d in 2001 and 2002 respectively, can be subdivided into three categories:  (i) the low producers (4 countries); (ii) the mid-size producers (4 countries); and (iii) the three large producers (Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia).

In order to investigate the Middle East's long-term production capacity, the forecasts and scenarios developed by the following experts or institutions were reviewed: (a) Dr. Campbell; (b) the major international institutions (IEA, EIA, OPEC); (c) the major oil companies; (d) the major international banks; (e) the specialised press; (f) prominent economists and consultants; (g) the simulations of the 'World Oil Production Capacity' (WOCAP) model.

The most significant results were derived from Dr. Campbell's predictions and the WOCAP model.  Both of these show Middle Eastern producers going through a long "bumpy plateau" between 2003 and 2020 with a gradual ramping down during the second decade.  WOCAP's simulations for each of the large three producers are presented and analysed.

All in all, the Middle Eastern countries, which produce nearly a third of global crude oil, will continue to play a major role on the global oil stage, a role that, with time, can only tend to become more predominant.  And although the region's oil represents over 40% of global reserves and roughly two-thirds of proved reserves, there are limits to its output.  For those believing that for Middle East oil "the sky's the limit," some shattering surprises might result over the next two decades.

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