Wednesday, June 22, 2005

RUSSIA IS NEAR PEAK OIL

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Russian oil field

All signs are now pointing at Russia being at its own Hubbert Oil Peak. The USA and Indonesia are way past the peaks and are in steep decline mode.

From the Russia Journal:
Given current oil extraction volumes, Russia's oil reserves will last for at least 35-40 years, a ministry press release quoted an official as saying Wednesday. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Anatoly Tyomkin said undeveloped deposits had exceeded 100 billion metric tons of standard fuel. According to Tyomkin, Russian oil companies will be able to use their oil reserves for an average of more than 30 years and some could last as long as 50 years. Reserves of foreign corporations amount to much less, Tyomkin said. BP and Amoco's reserves are expected to last about 10 years, while Exxon Mobil's could go for another 12.

"The dynamics of oil extraction and the increase in hydrocarbons reserves in 1999-2003 showed that the ratio between the increase in reserves and the extraction was 85%," Tyomkin said.

He said the major reason was a drop in prospecting and investment in the area, which Russia encountered in the 1990s.

According to Tyomkin, Russia would be able to reach Soviet levels of investment in prospecting, if the program to reproduce the raw material base is fully funded. (Investment in mineral wealth reproduction will aggregate 2,428,440 million rubles between 2005 and 2020.

"It will help reduce the gap between growing deposits and extraction. In 2010, the ratio will be about 90%, and in 2012 - 100% due to an increase in liquid hydrocarbons," Tyomkin said.
I will translate this news: water is being pumped more and more into oil wells because natural pressure no longer produces great volume. In another five years, nearly all wells in Russia will be using water to pump out the oil, a classic sign the oils are past 1/2 volume. There are no "growing deposits". This is ancient fuels we are talking about, it isn't being generated anymore because the climat and life forms don't produce huge masses of dead things rotting away peacefully untouched by other living organisms. The "major drop in prospecting" is due to the simple fact, there is no reason to look for something that isn't there so why look.

Next to Saudi Arabia, Russia is one of the biggest exporters of fossil fuels. And the news that they have only 30-50 years worth of oil left is exactly how the peak works: pumping of oil started 50 years ago, it will end in 50 years. But it won't end at the level it is now.

It will end as a tiny amount is eked out of the ground and sold at a very high price.
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