“The best of the world’s “raw numbers” on global crude oil production still comes from the U.S. DOE/EIA. Eighteen months ago, I began looking closely at the EIA’s global crude oil and condensate production report summarized in the EIA’s Monthly Energy Report (Table 11.1b) as it showed a peak in crude oil production in 2005. For almost a year, minor adjustments to the 2005 data were made. Over time, however, the facts point to the glaring and inconvenient reality that the May 2005 crude production represented an all-time high, even though it barely exceeded 74 million barrels a day – 74,298,000/day according to the EIA. April, May and December 2005 were the first three months in the 150-year history of oil when the world ever produced this much oil. In July 2006, global crude once more inched above the 74 million barrel a day high-water mark. No other monthly report before or since shows oil produced at or above the 74 million barrel per day mark.
Predicting that world economic activity will grow by an average of 4.5 percent per year during 2007-12, much of it driven by unbridled growth in China, India and the Middle East — July 9 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA)concludes that global oil demand will rise by 2.2 percent per year, pushing world oil consumption from approximately 86 million barrels per day in 2007 to 96 million in 2012. With luck and massive new investment, the oil industry will be able to increase output sufficiently to satisfy the higher level of demand anticipated for 2012 — barely. Beyond that, however, there appears little likelihood that the industry will be able to sustain any increase in demand. “Oil look[s] extremely tight in five years’ time”