IEA and OPEC are both out with their initial numbers for September global liquid fuel production (the EIA is currently up to July). I have updated my graphs accordingly. As you can see above, we are still in the "sideways stagnation" period that we've been in since February - almost within striking distance of the global record production in summer of 2008, but no longer heading upward more-or-less steadily as we were through most of 2009.
Here's the longer context:
So have we passed peak oil on a monthly liquid fuel basis? Who knows - anyone who claims they know is blowing smoke in my opinion (though of course some faction of the smoke-blowers might get lucky). A revival of the financial crisis (latest alarms here) would send demand plunging again, then posit more chaos in Iraq so that the al-Shahristani plan never comes to pass. Then we could very well have passed the highpoint of oil production (by the time demand recovered again, there could be enough additional depletion that the previous high couldn't be achieved). Then again, reverse those assumptions - even just a few good months could be enough - and we could exceed the 2008 peak quite easily.
I have no idea. Currently the view that the whole period since 2005 is a "bumpy plateau" still seems pretty viable as long one isn't too up-tight about the bump size. If I ever develop a more precise opinion, you'll be able to read it here...
Update: A reader emails to ask about data sources, which I guess I've gotten lazy about links to. Here they are:
- The IEA publishes the monthly Oil Market Report. They make a very brief free summary available on publication day, and the entire thing available after two weeks. I take the data either from the summary for the most recent datum, or Table 3.
- OPEC data are from their Monthly Oil Market Report. World oil supply is generally Graph 27 (I put a screenshot into the background of an Excel graph and then match the points up to extract the data)
- EIA production data are from the International Petroleum Monthly, Table 1.4
- EIA price data are the West Texas Spot Prices from here. I inflation correct (currently to Jan 2009 $), using the BLS CPI index here.