The vast majority of the important mathematical and accounting models of oil production used by entities independent from the oil industry all point to a similar time period when oil production reaches a maximum and begins to decline. This is a period of about a decade centred between 2008 and 2010, and the maximum oil produced is between 78 and 85 million barrels daily.
Luís de Sousa emphasizes that since 2005 world liquids production has been bound between 80 and 82 million barrels per day, clearly in agreement with those models. This plateau “has been sustained by the increase of natural gas liquids, with pure crude [petroleum] in decline since 2005”.
Recently, the ‘peak’ has returned to the spotlight because of a secret report by the Future Studies group of the German Centre for the Armed Forces Transformation, a military think tank working for the Berlin Ministry of Defence. The study was published by “Der Spiegel”, causing considerable concern by those less used to the issue and its geopolitical implications.
PIIGS are the most affected
One of the groups in the OECD that will suffer most with the contraction of available oil is the one formed by those countries most dependent on oil in their energy mix, according to Luís de Sousa. “A detail must be noted – those countries in greatest difficulties will be precisely those called the PIIGS. These countries each have an oil dependence in their total energy mix of over 45%, including Greece with 58%, Portugal and Ireland with 55%, Spain with 48% and Italy with 46%.