2008 volume 35(4) pages 609 – 626

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Bentley R, Boyle G, 2008, "Global oil production: forecasts and methodologies" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 35(4) 609 – 626

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Global oil production: forecasts and methodologies

Roger Bentley, Godfrey Boyle

Received 2 June 2006; in revised form 24 April 2007; published online 29 October 2007

Abstract. A range of forecasts of global oil production made between 1956 and the present day are listed. For the majority of these the methodology used to generate the forecast is described. The paper distinguishes between three types of forecast: group 1—quantitative analyses which predict that global oil production will reach a resource-limited peak in the near term, and certainly before the year 2020; group 2—forecasts that use quantitative methods, but which see no production peak within the forecast’s time horizon (typically 2020 or 2030); group 3—nonquantitative analyses that rule out a resource-limited oil peak within the foreseeable future. The paper analyses these forecast types and suggests that group 1 forecasts are the most realistic.

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