Energy Geek Week: Peak Oil RIP Edition

Commenter David Hill reminded us yesterday of Steve Martin’s excitement about new phone books (one of my favorite scenes, too), but my seriously analogous moment comes this week every year when BP releases it Annual Statistical Review of World Energy.  For a data maven like me, it’s a total geekfest.  (“The new BP Review is out!  The new BP review is out!”)  Since BP makes its data available on downloadable spreadsheets, I can freak freely crunching the data for myself, and noticing fun things.  I’ll roll out a few things here over the next few days.

Like the end of the whole peak oil hypothesis.  The first figure below displays the 60 percent growth in proven global oil reserves over the last 20 years.  This is not just the result of recent technological advances such as directional drilling and fracking: the second figure takes BP’s data back to 1980, which shows a steady increase in reserves throughout the period amounting to a 144 percent increase.  (That kink in the line in the late 1990s corresponds to the collapse in oil prices down to about $10 a barrel at the time.  Simple lesson: price matters.)  Click to enlarge either chart.