Wednesday, September 8, 2010
After looking at US data for a couple of days, I was curious whether the other poster-children for the idea that post-peak declines are inexorable were also showing production up-ticks. The above is the EIA monthly data for the North Sea (through May of this year, in thousands of barrels/day). In the mid 2000s, the North Sea was the principal evidence for the idea that "modern oilfield practices cause dramatic declines post-peak".
As you can see, declines are definitely continuing and have not been arrested by relatively high prices since 2000. (For more background, see this Euan Mearns piece from last year at TOD).
Looking a little deeper, and noting that the data above have clear seasonality, here's the average percentage decline from 12 months earlier.
Although things were looking a little better, or at least getting worse more slowly, for a while there in the late aughties, the decline rate has now clearly gone back over 5% again. Clearly, this is a rather strong piece of evidence for the idea that "Post Peak Declines are Geologically Determined".
So if we were to keep score, that's Geological Determinism: 1; Prices: 1, so far.