SAFAT, Kuwait, March 15 (UPI) — Kuwaiti scientists say they have calculated the world’s conventional crude oil production will peak in 2014 — nearly a decade earlier than predicted.
The researchers, led by Associate Professor Ibrahim Nashawi at Kuwait University, said their finding might speed efforts to conserve oil and intensify the search for alternative fuel sources.
Nashawi and his team said scientists have developed several models to predict when oil production will reach a maximum and then decline. Some models put the date at 2020 or later. One of the most famous forecast models, called the Hubbert model, accurately predicted U.S. oil production would peak during 1970.
That model has since gained in popularity, but recent studies show it is insufficient to account for more complex oil production cycles of some countries. Those cycles can be heavily influenced by technology changes, politics and other factors, the scientists say.
In their recent research, Nashawi and his colleagues describe a new version of the Hubbert model that follows production trends of 47 major oil-producing countries that supply most of the world’s conventional crude oil.
They said it predicts worldwide conventional crude oil production will peak in 2014. The scientists also showed the world’s oil reserves are being depleted at a rate of 2.1 percent a year.
The research is presented in the journal Energy & Fuels.
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