With the most recent release of international oil production data, EIA Washington has revised figures back to 1985. This is one of the most comprehensive revisions I have seen in several years. Generally, the totals were revised slightly lower, and this was especially true for the past decade. Data for the full year of 2011 has now completed. | see: Global Average Annual Crude Oil Production mbpd 2001 – 2011.
Since 2005, despite a phase transition in prices, global oil production has been trapped below a ceiling of 74 mbpd (million barrels per day). New production from new fields and new discoveries comes on line, but, it has not been at a rate fast enough to overcome declines from existing fields. Overall, global decline has been estimated at a minimum of 4% per year and as high as 6+% a year. Given that new oil resources are developed and flow at much slower rates, the existing declines present a formidable challenge to the task of increasing supply. I see no set of factors, in combination, that would take global production of crude oil higher in 2012, or next year, or thereafter.
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