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Monday, May 4, 2009

Wall St. Journal: Investment firm says Peak Oil is now

Raymond James calls 2008 as the year of the peak.

From Oil and Gas Journal on the same story:

In Houston, analysts at Raymond James & Associates Inc. pointed out crude inventories are at all time highs while oil demand remains depressed, down 5.4% from year ago levels in February. Moreover, they said oil production among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries apparently peaked in the first quarter of 2008, with non-OPEC production having topped out in 2007.

"Of course, we cannot definitively prove that this marks the all-time peak (that is, that global oil production will never again surpass the 79.3 million b/d mark)," the analysts conceded. "That is something that will only become clear with the benefit of years of hindsight as was the case with the US in the 1970s. However, it is entirely intuitive to conclude that if both OPEC and non-OPEC production posted declines against the backdrop of $100/bbl oil—when the obvious economic incentive was to pump at full blast—those declines had to have come for involuntary reasons such as the inherent geological limits of oil fields. To summarize, we believe that the oil market has already crossed over to the downward-sloping side of Hubbert's Peak [based on the production curve model developed by geophysicist M. King Hubbert]."

Raymond James analysts added, "With demand as weak as it is now, of course, inadequate future supply is hardly what the oil market is worrying about these days. Nonetheless, reaching peak oil still represents a transformative moment in the history of the oil market, and, if we're right that this moment is already behind us, it is only a matter of time before prices begin to reflect the reality that oil scarcity may become a fact of life in the not-too-distant future."