At yesterday's Peak Oil presentation to Hamilton City Council, Richard Gilbert mentioned a little-reported event that may mark the day that the earth tipped past its oil production peak.
Amazingly, a search of news reports turned up virtually nothing. I eventually tracked down the original report from Platts Oilgram News: Saudi Aramco announced on April 10, 2006 that Saudi Arabia's mature oilfields "are expected to decline at a gross average rate of 8 percent a year without additional maintenance and drilling."
The Aramco spokesperson explained that the company is attempting to offset those declines with "remedial activities" including drilling new wells in existing fields and opening up new fields.
But get this: the spokesperson went on, "This maintain potential drilling in mature fields combined with a multitude of remedial actions and the development of new fields, with long plateau lives, lowers the composite decline rate of producing fields to around 2 percent."
The last time I checked, a two percent decline is still a decline. If this is correct, then Saudi Arabia may be past its peak in oil production. Saudi Arabia is responsible for approximately one eighth of the world's oil; as Saudi Arabia goes, so goes the world.