Annual Production Scenarios for the Mean Resource Estimate Showing Sharp and Round Peaks
1. Market forces (such as prices for oil, costs of investment, and the pace of technological advance) may smooth and flatten the sharp peaks of the estimated production profiles. This graph shows the effect on the estimated peak production year when the methodology is altered to produce a rounded peak. (The rounded peak was generated by gradually decreasing the production growth rate from 2 percent to zero and then gradually increasing the production decline rate from zero to 5 percent.)
2. The rounded production peak is estimated by assuming that both production curves recover the same volume of conventional oil and both decline at about the same final rate (5 percent per year.)
3. The rounded peak occurs 7 years earlier and at a lower production rate than the sharp peak case.
4. This is generally true - a rounded peak occurs earlier than a sharp peak for the same resource base and yearly production growth rate.