TABLE 7.7 Projected U.S. Crude Oil Production in Various Years

EIA Alternative Casesa

Projected Production (million bbl/d) (2007 annual U.S. production: 5.1 million bbl/d, not including natural gas liquids)

2010

2020

2030

Reference case

5.9

6.3

5.6

High oil price

5.9

6.4

6.4

Rapid technology

6.0

6.5

6

ANWR 1002 access

5.9

6.5

6.3

Access to all OCS

5.9

6.4

5.8

aThe “Access to all OCS” case comes from EIA, 2007, while the other cases are from EIA, 2008a. See Appendix E of each document for a description of assumptions.

For the foreseeable future, U.S. reserves and production are likely to remain a modest fraction of world reserves and production.9 Indeed, none of the changes in Table 7.7 would lift U.S. production above about 8 percent of current world totals.

Although this committee has not attempted to evaluate non-U.S. oil reserves and production, it should be noted that the tension between declining production from existing reserves and investment in new production exists worldwide. The 2008 World Energy Outlook published by the IEA (2008b) reviews the status of the world’s largest existing oil fields and concludes that “field-by-field declines in oil production are accelerating … and barriers to upstream investment could constrain global oil supply.” Referring to its scenario analysis, the report observes that “the projected increase in global oil output hinges on adequate and timely investment. Some 64 million barrels per day of additional gross capacity—the equivalent of almost six times that of Saudi Arabia today—needs to be brought on stream between 2007 and 2030” (IEA, 2008b). These uncertainties are reflected in the range of production estimates from various publicly available sources. According to an NPC review of estimates for 2030, world oil production could range from 90 to 120 million barrels per day, as compared with about 85 million barrels

9

Other publicly available projections are consistent with these EIA estimates. See, for example, IEA (2008a). Data from private-sector sources (oil companies and consultants) available in the NPC data warehouse are, if anything, somewhat less optimistic.



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