Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on world oil production

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Publication date: 2009-03-19
First published in: Energy Policy
Authors: M. Höök et al


The most important contributors to the world’s total oil production are the giant oil fields. By using a comprehensive database of the giant oil field production, the average decline rates of the world’s giant oil fields are estimated. Separating subclasses was necessary, since there are significant differences between land and offshore fields, as well as between non-OPEC and OPEC fields. The evolution of decline rates over past decades includes the impact of new technologies and production techniques and shows that the average decline rate for individual giant fields is increasing with time. These factors have significant implications for the future since the most critical world oil production base – giant fields – will decline more rapidly in the future, according to our findings. We conclude that the world faces an increasing oil supply challenge, as the decline in existing production is not only high now but will be increasing in the future.

Published in: Energy Policy, Volume 37, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 2262-2272
Available from: ScienceDirect

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