Natural gas

An assessment of oil supply and its implications for future prices

Publication date:
1998-06-01
First published in:
Natural Resources Research
Authors:
D.J. Santini
Abstract:

This paper examines three issues related to both the U.S. and world oil supply: (1) the nature of the long-term, postpeak production profile for the U.S. and, by inference, other regions (the Hubbert curve is used as a “strawman” model); (2) implications on U.S. energy security of using a modified Hubbert-type conceptual model of prepeak production, testing the adequacy of Latin America to be the primary source of U.S. oil imports; and (3) the cyclic behavior of oil prices. it shows that U.S. production will exhibit a more attenuated decline than that simulated by the Hubbert curve and not decline to zero. it asserts that U.S. production is better predicted by past reserves than past production, but that this argument does not apply to nations that keep a much larger proportion of reserves in the ground. Such nations could considerably expand production without any growth in reserves. The paper concedes that the potential total production for these nations could be examined with a Hubbert curve model linked to reserves, but with great uncertainty. Such an uncertain optimistic forecast predicts that the cumulative production of Latin America could far exceed that of the United States. Nevertheless, a statistical model of oil prices since 1870 implies that real wellhead oil prices in the United States are on a long-term upward path, underlying a much more “noisy” cyclical pattern estimated to include 22- and 27-year cycles. The statistical model predicts a severe oil shock within a few years (of 1998) but also predicts that through 2030, real oil prices will not reach 1981 levels again. The paper examines U.S. and world trends in seismic exploration, drilling locations and depths, drilling costs, oil/gas reserves, oil/gas use rates, and oil demand. After taking these factors into consideration, it concludes that the statistical model of oil prices cannot be disputed, despite its lack of basis in economic theory.

Published in: Natural Resources Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 101-121
Available from: SpringerLink

A supply model for crude oil and natural gas in the Middle East

Publication date:
2007-04-01
First published in:
Energy Policy
Authors:
R. Chedid et al
Abstract:

Crude oil (CO) and natural gas (NG) play an important role in the world economy. The Arab countries (ACs) share 64% of the total oil reserves and 40% of the NG reserves. On the production side, ACs contribute to 30% and 9% of the world production of CO and NG, respectively. Accurate forecast models are needed to do better planning and create less risky business environment. In this paper, an econometric model is built to capture the behavior of CO and NG production in the ESCWA countries. The model is used to forecast future production trends of CO and NG, and thus provide a powerful tool for researchers, planners and investors working in the energy field.

Published in: Energy Policy, Volume 35, Issue 4, April 2007, Pages 2096-2109
Available from: ScienceDirect

Will Natural Gas Supply Meet the Demand in North America?

Publication date:
2002-02-01
First published in:
Energy Exploration & Exploitation
Authors:
J. Laherrere
Abstract:

The goal of this paper is to deliver to the reader a large number of graphs in order to allow him to choose the ones that he considers important to make his own opinion. Graphs from data are more important than statements, which are mainly interpretations and political. The main problem is that the data are fairly unreliable. This paper assess the various components in order to provide a compendium of behaviours for future use in strategic and tactical planning for gas energy needs.

Published in: Energy Exploration & Exploitation, Volume 20, Numbers 2-3, 1 February 2002 , pp. 153-205(53)
Available from: IngentaConnect

High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis

Publication date:
2004-09-01
First published in:
Book
Authors:
Julian Darley
Abstract:

Blackouts, rising gas prices, changes to the Clean Air Act, proposals to open wilderness and protected offshore areas to gas drilling, and increasing dependence on natural gas for electricity generation. What do all these developments have in common, and why should we care?
In this timely expose, author Julian Darley takes a hard-hitting look at natural gas as an energy source that rapidly went from nuisance to crutch. Darley outlines the implications of our increased dependence on this energy source and why it has the potential to cause serious environmental, political, and economic consequences. In High Noon for Natural Gas readers can expect to find a critical analysis of government policy on energy, as well as a meticulously researched warning about our next potentially catastrophic energy crisis.

Available from: Amazon Online

The Peak and Decline of World Oil and Gas Production

Publication date:
2003-10-22
First published in:
Minerals & Energy - Raw Materials Report
Authors:
K. Aleklett, C. Campbell
Abstract:

Oil and gas have been known since Antiquity but the modern oil industry had its roots in the middle of the 19th Century in Pennsylvania and on the shores of the Caspian. In the early days, the discovery of oil was a hit or miss affair, but in later years it became a decidedly scientific and technological process. Perhaps the most important development was a geochemical breakthrough in the 1980s that made it possible to relate the oil in a well with the rock in which it was generated. That in turn led to an understanding of the very exceptional conditions under which oil was formed in Nature. Advances in computer science also brought great progress in seismic surveying that made it possible to determine with great accuracy the nature of deeply buried geological structures.

These scientific advances have not however been matched by clarity in reporting the results, which are clouded by ambiguous definitions and lax reporting practices. In short, it has been another example of poor accounting. Estimating the size of an oilfield poses no great technological challenge, although there is naturally a quantifiable range of uncertainty. Extrapolating the discovery trend of the past to determine future discovery and production should be straightforward, and the size distribution of fields should be evident. But the atrociously unreliable nature of public data has given much latitude when it comes to interpreting the status of depletion and the impact of economic and political factors on production. This has allowed two conflicting views of the subject to develop.

The first is what may be called the Natural Science Approach, which observes the factors controlling oil accumulation in Nature and applies immutable physical laws to the process of depletion. It seeks to base its conclusions on three simple questions:

  • what was found, referring to the different categories of oil and gas?
  • how much was found? and
  • when was it found?

(see Bentley, 2002; Campbell 1997,1998; Deffeyes, 2001; Laherrère 1999; Ivanhoe, 2000; Perrodon, 1999; Simmons 2000; Youngquist, 1997)

The second is what may be called the Flat-Earth Approach, in which the resource is deemed to be virtually limitless, with extraction being treated as if it were controlled only by economic, political and technological factors. It seeks to explain discovery as a consequence of investment, in the belief that supply always matches demand under ineluctable economic principles. It supposes that as one resource is depleted, its place is seamlessly taken by a better substitute: “the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stone” is a favourite aphorism. (see Adelman, 1995; Odell, 1999.)

There is little scope for consensus because one approach relies on the measurement and observation of Nature, the other on faith in the Mastery of Man. The debate, if that is the right word, is itself further clouded by vested interests with motives to obscure and confuse. On the one side have been the oil companies who have had good commercial and regulatory reasons to under-report the size of discovery, so that the subsequent upward revisions gave an encouraging image of steady growth to the stockmarket. On the other side are governments and international agencies that have found it easier in political terms to react to a crisis than to anticipate one. The depletion of oil, which furnishes 40% of traded energy and 90% of transport fuel is by all means a sensitive subject for all governments because it heralds a discontinuity of historic proportions. It is easy for the economists who advise most governments to map short-term economic cycles but it is very difficult for them to deal with major discontinuities, especially those that undermine the very foundations of their subject.

This paper will endeavour to present the evidence for the Natural Science Approach, addressing the geological constraints; the technical basis of reserve estimation; the distribution of field sizes; and the obvious correlation between discovery and production after a time lag. It will further explain the reporting practices, and present both a realistic assessment of the resource and a practical model of depletion.

Published in: Minerals and Energy - Raw Materials Report, Volume 18, Number 1, 2003 , pp. 5-20(16)
Available from: IngentaConnect

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