Iraq raises its oil reserve numbers: Peak oil still here

Hooray!  Iraq has decided that it has more oil than it thought -25%.  Yes, out of the blue, the smart guys over there simply said, “hey we got more than we thought.”  It’s just that simple.

Now they have an estimated 143.1 BILLION barrels.  Gosh, that seems like a whole lot of oil.  Why it seems like that would last for…..exactly 4 1/2 years of global consumption at 86 million barrels per day. (1,663 days). 

Reading down, you see that Saudi Arabia has 264.6 BILLION barrels of estimated reserve and Iran has 137.6 BILLION barrels.

Let’s do the math.  264.6 + 143.1 + 137.6 = 545.3 BILLION barrels of oil.  Sounds like…..17 years worth. (6,340 days at 86 M/BPD).  And this is without any increase in demand. Too, demand could decrease, and the oil would last longer, but the economic effects of such a decrease in oil use are too scary to contemplate early on a Monday morning.

It’s not that hard to see that we’re on the downward slope of the peak oil curve.  The rest of the world has much smaller liquid reserves than the big 3, and all them have peaked.  The only frontier now is tar sands and oil shales.  Expensive and destructive.  We are in for the biggest shock of our lives in a year or so, when the reality sets in.


Iraq raises oil reserve estimate 24 pct

Iraq oil minister revises up estimate of proven oil reserves to 143.1 billion barrels


Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press Writer, On Monday October 4, 2010, 6:50 am

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s oil minister on Monday sharply boosted the estimate on the country’s proven reserves of oil to 143.1 billion barrels, an almost 25 percent increase that transforms the war-ravaged nation into the home of the world’s second-largest proven reserves of conventional crude oil.

The new figure reflects reserves “that can be extracted by available techniques in the country,” Hussain al-Shahristani told reporters, adding that this total is based on reserves in 66 oil fields. He said there “are other areas to be explored that are expected to add” more to the reserve total.

The increase is as important psychologically for Iraq as it is economically and practically. The oil-rich nation, which was the birthplace for OPEC, has struggled to raise its oil production and exports after years of sanctions and wars left much of the vital sector in poor shape. Iraq currently exports roughly 1.9 million to 2 million barrels per day — which accounts for nearly all its foreign currency revenues.

But with Saddam’s ouster, attention turned again to revamping the sector. Two international oil licensing rounds last year opened the door for international oil firms to re-enter the Iraq market.

Iraq hopes that new production from the 10 oil fields awarded during the two auctions will raise overall output to 12 million barrels per day by 2017 — a level that would put it nearly on par with Saudi Arabia’s current production capacity.

“Iraq will officially inform OPEC today in order for these new reserves to be recognized internationally.” al-Shahristani said.

“We expect other increases of even these fixed reserves,” he said, referring to expectations that continued exploration will result in even more discoveries.

For years, Iraq’s proven reserves of crude were listed at 115 billion barrels, with no revisions announced largely because little in the way of field assessment or new exploration was taking place under the country’s now-deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein.

That figure meant Iraq was listed as having the world’s third largest proven reserves of conventional crude, with Saudi Arabia claiming the top spot with 264.6 billion barrels and Iran ranking second with 137.6 billion barrels, according to the latest BP Energy Statistical Review.

Factoring in unconventional crude sources, Canada and Venezuela both had far greater reserves than Iran and Iraq. But such reserves, which include oil shale and the tar-like bitumen, are generally far harder to extract than conventional crude oil and are recoverable only at oil prices far higher than those needed to extract oil from countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


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