Source of graph: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.
(p. A4) Output from the world’s existing oil fields is declining at a rate of about 4.5% annually, a new study concludes, depriving the world of the same amount of oil that No. 4 producer Iran supplies in a year.
Yet the study’s authors, Boston-based Cambridge Energy Research Associates, argue that their assessment supports a generally rosy view of the industry’s future, given that new projects in the works will make up for the decline.
Set for release today, the study, based on data from 811 fields around the world, takes aim at a growing school of thought that the world’s oil production may soon hit its peak just as demand is surging in Asia and the Middle East.
“This study supports a view that there is no impending short-term peak in global oil production,” the paper concludes. CERA, led by oil historian Daniel Yergin, is a prominent adviser to oil companies.
. . .
Mr. Yergin said that the huge number of projects under way in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, West Africa, the Caspian Sea and the Gulf of Mexico will more than make up for natural declines from fields now in production.
“This is a daily, hourly and minute-by-minute challenge for the world’s oil industry,” he said. “But for every Iran you are losing, you are gaining almost two Irans in return.”
For the full story, see:
NEIL KING JR. “Slower Oil-Field Decline Is Seen.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., January 17, 2008): A4.
(Note: ellipsis added; the online title is: “New Fields May Offset Oil Drop.”)