Oil discoveries by decade

by PlanMaestro

From the utterly appropriate remembrance of Matt Simmons’ contributions to our understanding of the energy future. We will miss you Mr. Simmons.

Update: You might also want to read this 2005 interview that includes behind the scene details of his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2004 that inspired Twilight in the Desert

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.

The Oil Drum: Matt Simmons, Author of “Twilight in the Desert” and Peak Oil Speaker, Dies at Age 67