Oil discoveries by decade
From the utterly appropriate remembrance of Matt Simmons’ contributions to our understanding of the energy future. We will miss you Mr. Simmons.
Another thing Matt is known for is his educational graphics about “what is really going on” with respect to oil extraction. For example, in his talk at the 2009 ASPO – USA conference, he shows this graphic of the amount of conventional oil discovered by decade. It is pretty clear from the above graphic that “conventional” oil discoveries have declined since the 1960s, suggesting that most of the oil in liquid form in the world has already been discovered. While one can argue that there are other kinds of oil (oil sands, oil shale, and other non-conventional oil) that are not included in this graph, these other oil sources can be extracted only very slowly (and at great expense). Because of this, we cannot expect their growth in extraction to offset a decline in conventional oil production.