Peak oil Transition Training 2007 Peak oil- What is it? • Peak oil is the point at which we can no longer increase the amount of crude oil we extract and globally petroleum production goes into irreversible decline. • This typically happens when an oil province has extracted roughly ½ of all the oil that is ever going to be extracted from that province - it is not when the oil runs out. • This slide illustrates why the sum total of a collection of oil fields in a region when added together creates a peak at about the half way point in production Typical Oil Well Transition Training 2007 Peak oil- What is it? How an oil well works • • • Initially the oil is under pressure and when you drill into the oil bearing rock, the pressure drives the oil out of the stone and upwards to the surface. You can drill several wells into the same field, increasing output from that field After a time the pressure begins to fall so production falls. To get the last recoverable oil out water or gas is pumped into the field Two typical oil fields Forties field UK sector North Sea 700 Ann. Prod. Gb 600 500 400 300 200 Prudhoe Bay, Alaska 100 0 0 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 Cum Prod. Gb Transition Training 2007 8 9 10 10 12 Peak oil- What is it? Oil field production • • These two large oil fields illustrate the basic dynamics of oil production: A steep initial increase, a production plateau and then a slow but irreversible decline. • Once the peak is past there are many techniques and technologies that can brought to maximise the declining output, but it is a losing battle and production will never return to it former levels. 10000 6000 15 4000 10 5 2000 0 0 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010 2030 Russia 2050 35 14000 30 12000 25 10000 20 8000 15 6000 10 4000 5 2000 0 0 Discovery Gb 5 4 3 2 1 0 1930 1950 1970 Transition Training 2007 1990 2010 2030 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2050 Discovery Gb Indonesia 6 Production kb/d 1930 1950 1970 1990 2030 Egypt 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 1930 2010 2050 1000 800 600 400 200 0 1950 1970 1990 2010 2030 Production kb/d 20 2050 Production kb/d 8000 Discovery Gb Discovery Gb 25 Production kb/d 30 Oil production follows discovery USA Peak oil What is it? Oil production follows discovery • • • • Oil production peak follows oil discovery peak, usually 25-40 years later. This is the time it takes to get production going after the initial finding. In country after country and oil province after oil province the pattern is broadly the same – four examples are shown of countries that have peaked. Globally we are now discovering 1 barrel of oil for every 5 or 6 that we use. UK production profile Transition Training 2007 When will it happen? UK Oil production profile • • • • This is the pattern in the UK, showing oil production from the North Sea. Each coloured band shows a different oil field Britain’s production peaked in about 2000 and is now in steep decline. Britain’s oil and gas will be virtually gone in 15 years. Global oil discovery and production Transition Training 2007 When will it happen? Global oil discovery, production, and demand • • • To produce oil you first have to discover it. World discovery peaked in the late 1960’s and has been falling ever since, and despite rapidly improving and sophisticated, technology, there is no prospect of it ever increasing. At the same time production has been rapidly rising. Demand is projected to go on rising, (with production failing to keep up), especially in rapidly industrialising countries like China and India, and is leading to rapidly rising oil prices. When is the global oil peak? Transition Training 2007 When will it happen? When will global oil production peak? • • • The argument is when will we peak, not whether. This graph shows various predictions of the global oil peak. They cluster around 2010, with a few optimistic analysts, predicting a peak many years in the future. Dr James R. Schlesinger, former US Energy Secretary stated in 2007, “You (peak oilists) are no longer the beleaguered small minority of voices crying in the wilderness. You are now main stream.” The predictions are from government bodies like the International Energy Agency, oil companies like BP, and independent researchers like Chris Skrebowski. Oil producers (98) Post peak oil producers (64) www.lastoilshock.com Transition Training 2007 When will it happen? Of the 98 producers 64 countries have already peaked • • • • There are 98 countries in the word that produce oil, some large some small. The countries in red are the countries that are now ‘post peak’. Their oil production is now in decline and nothing they can do will ever reverse that. Of 98 producers 64 have already peaked. Anyone who tries to tell you that peak oil is a myth should look at one of these countries- not one has ever failed to follow the ‘Hubbert’s peak’ and then decline Exports from oil producers Transition Training 2007 When will it happen? Exports from oil exporting nations • • • • Oil exporting nations are using their oil for their own internal consumption at an ever increasing rate. Oil is often very cheap, like in Saudi Arabia, 30p per gallon, so there is no incentive to conserve. As their economies are booming, and their population is also growing rapidly, this means they have less oil to export. Oil export peaked in 2005, and after a short plateau, is declining rapidly. This is very bad news for countries like the USA which need to import 16 million barrels of oil a day. 80:20 rule The world’s giant oilfields are in steep decline Transition Training 2007 When will it happen? 80:20 rule – decline of the giant oil fields • • • The 80:20 rule is that 80% of your result comes from the first 20% of your effort – with diminishing returns after that In oil terms we find the easy to find and produce oil first - the largest oil fields. 50% of global oil is produced by the 120 largest oil fields in the world (out of over 4000 fields) This graph shows that discovery of giant oil fields peaked in the late 1960’s. Now we find very few giant (greater than 1 billion barrels) oil fields, and that rate of discovery is declining. WHERE WE GET OUR ENERGY Source: ExxonMobile web site Why is oil so important? It is frightening how dependent we are on fossil fuels. We have only begun the move away from fossil fuel energy. Even if we were to double the amount of energy we get from renewables, and then double it, and then double again, which would be a heroic achievement, it would still only create 3% of energy requirements. If peak oil was imminent, what would be the Canary in the Coal mine? Transition training 2008 When will it happen? • • • • • • Light sweet crude peaks first. The worlds largest oil fields peak and decline Countries start to decline. Oil price increases rapidly, and then maybe crashes, erratic behaviour. Exports from oil producers peaks Oil producer countries take control of their resources. • .......all this has happened, and has accelerated, in the last 5 years Why is oil so important? How many men does it take to push a car? Transition Training 2007 Why is it so important? The phenomenal energy in petrol • • • A tank of petrol contains 8,000 human hours work! If you worked for 8 hrs/day, 52 weeks a year, 7 days a week that equates to about 3 years’ work. Most of us take for granted the amount of energy we have at our disposal instantly, everyday. No human society had anything near the amount of energy before the discovery of fossil fuels. What do we use oil for? Transition Training 2007 Transition Training 2007 Why is oil so important? What do we use oil for? • • • • • Our entire way of life, and a bewildering array products are reliant on oil. Transport is only the beginning of our oil use. Many products are derived from, or use oil or gas as their raw material. Plastics, synthetic fibres, drugs, laminates, paints, ink… the list is endless The so called ‘Green revolution’ , modern agriculture depends on oil. Fertilisers and pesticides are made from oil and natural gas, tractors and machinery use it, irrigation requires huge amounts of energy and this is before food miles, processing, and storing, cooking, and packaging and retailing are taken into account. Industry and even the service sector use huge amounts of energy. No country has yet decoupled economic growth from energy use Transition Training 2007 Why is oil so important? • • • • • Economic growth requires growth in our energy supply. We have an economic system that is dependent on growth. Therefore we are dependent on increasing supplies of energy. All forecasts of economic growth also show rising energy demand. When peak oil arrives we will have less total energy so economic growth will slow and probably decline, perhaps permanently The carbon cycle The atmosphere holds about 750 GtC Dead Organisms Oceans 40,000 GtC Fossil CO2 Transition Training 2007 Vegetation about 600 GtC Soils 1600 GtC 1 The active carbon cycle • The carbon dioxide cycle is a natural one ,and one that has been in dynamic balance and undergone many fluctuations and cycles over millions of years. • There is a balance between the seas and the land and the atmosphere. Carbon is locked up in the seas in plankton and other marine life, and dissolved in the water. Carbon is also locked up in plant matter on the earth (active carbon cycle), and in fossil deposits (inactive carbon cycle) of oil, natural gas, and coal. • The destabilising factor in the carbon cycle is that we have taken the locked up (inactive) carbon from fossil fuels and put that carbon in the atmosphere. The land and the sea carbon sinks are unable to absorb this excess carbon. What is climate change? Transition Training 2007 2 Define Climate Change The term "climate change" is sometimes used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant change from one climatic condition to another. What is causing Climate change or Global Warming? Rising human made CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. It this a theory? Yes Why? Because it is trying to establish two ‘cause and effects’. Firstly that CO2 is the cause of global warming and secondly that humans are causing it through the burning of fossil fuels. Is it proven? Transition Training 2007 3 Have both ‘cause and effects’ been ‘proven’? Is the earth warming, and are humans causing it? Main Point • Yes, as much as a scientific theory can be proven. It It has been confirmed by the International Panel for Climate Change is a worldwide group of scientists who have reviewed all available scientific research. Detail The 4th IPCC report published in 2007 states, • “ 1-Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. • 2-Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (confidence level >90%) due to the observed increase in human greenhouse gas concentrations.” • • This is scientific ‘speak’ for yes! This United Nations study, which was just awarded the 2007 Nobel peace prize, was the most comprehensive study of peer reviewed climate research ever undertaken, and one of the most comprehensive studies of any scientific question ever. Its conclusions are that there is no more debate, the science is clear. The only question is how fast can we act to create real reductions in atmospheric CO2. What are the main problems with out of control CC? Transition Training 2007 4 What are the main problems with out of control CC? • • • • Main Points Severe ‘one in a hundred year’ weather events becoming common Sea level rises, leading to increasing land loss and cc refugees Species loss Additional Points • Increased droughts/desertification. This slide is of the Australian Murray River system, which has faced an extreme multi year drought. The government has had to take the decision to allocate whatever water there is to the cities rather than allow farmers to irrigate their crops. This has lead to a decrease in the Australian wheat harvest of 35% this year. Australia is one of the bread baskets of the world. • Increased floods- like this year in the UK. • Acidic seas • Species loss due to temperature zones migrating @ the rate of 2km/yr. This will accelerate species loss due to habitat loss, as many species of plants and animals will be unable to migrate with the temperature. We face a potential of 50% or more loss of life on earth. We are depended on the web of life for our survival. Transition Training 2007 5 CO2 levels over the past 60000 years 381 ppm 2006 Ron Oxburgh Transition Training 2007 The natural carbon cycle and human effects Main points • This shows the ice core data measuring atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last 60,000 years. As you can see CO2 levels have risen and fallen. To keep the climate from warming more than 2 degrees C we would have to keep CO2 concentration to below 450ppm • They are currently at 380ppm without counting the other GHG which are Methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs. Additional Points • The last ice age ended 20,000 years ago and lead to a rise in CO2, and if we went back a few 100,000 years we would see this pattern of rise and fall. What happens next (in red) shows the result of a new agricultural system, and human population increase, and then the green shows the beginning of the industrial era and the burning of fossil fuels. The orange is the 20th & 21st century. The need for an urgent response Transition Training 2007 6 The need for an urgent response • Once global temperatures rise to certain levels positive feedback loops will cause further releases of greenhouse gases, leading to runaway climate change • On the best evidence we need to keep temperature rises to less than 2* C. • Emissions already made have not yet had their full impact – so we are perilously close to reaching this even if we reduce emissions dramatically now. Positive Feedback loops • For example if the arctic tundra melts it will emit so much methane, a powerful green house gas, that it will dwarf human CO2 emissions. 7 Responses to Peak Oil & Climate Change PEAK OIL PO+CC= Systems Re-think • Burn everything! relaxed drilling regulations biofuels tar sands and nonconventional oils • Resource nationalism • Resource Wars • Planned Relocalisation • Energy Descent Pathways • Local Resilience CLIMATE CHANGE • Climate engineering • Carbon capture and storage • International emissions trading • Climate adaptation • Nuclear power Response to PO and CC • • • • Looking at peak oil alone you look for replacements – tar sands, remote fields such as the antarctic, bio fuels, coal to liquids. If we don’t reduce oil dependency in rich countries there will inevitably be either climate disaster from replacements or resource wars. Looking at climate change alone you may look for energy intensive solutions to mitigate climate change, including nuclear. When PO and CC are taken together you have to redesign the system – a low energy, re-localised and resilient system is the only viable future.