Suburban Bureau

Peak Oil is Now Official

Mexico's supergiant Cantarell oilfield is now in decline. Can the rest of the world make up the shortfall?

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published March 18, 2006

A recent Kight Ridder article by Kevin Hall points out that world's number two oilfield, Mexico's supergiant Cantarell, has peaked.

Cantarell is second only to Saudia Arabia's Ghawar oilfield and has been pumping millions of barrels of light crude a day since 1976. According to Carlos Morales, production manager for Mexico's state owned oil company, Pemex, Cantarell's projected output will be 6 percent lower this year at 1.9 million barrels per day and down to 1.43 million barrels by 2008, the level of production in 2000.

A leaked internal memo from inside Pemex said water and gas were seeping into the massive offshore oil field. Cantarell is showing the signs of peaking.

Canterell's Output Levels
Year Output
1994 1.0 mb/d
2000 1.5 mb/d
2004 2.13 mb/d (Peak)
2005 2.0 mb/d
2006 1.9 mb/d (projected)
2008 1.43 mb/d (projected)

To make up the decline of Cantarell, Pemex is spending billions to develop new fields such as Chicontepec. This will prove difficult for a company that lost $3.75 billion in 2005, during a time of record high crude prices.

The crude that is first produced from any field is light and sweet, it flows well, and is easy to refine. Not so the later output, and Pemex is faced with spending billions to reconfigure its refineries so they can handle heavier crude.

Pemex's Galindo, like many outside experts, thinks the era of easy, cheaply produced oil in Mexico appears to be over. The remaining crude left in Cantarell or in existing fields will most certainly be heavier and costlier.

The Cantarell field accounts for 60 percent of Mexico's total production. To make up for the anticipated decline of 500,000 bpd will be difficult to achieve and definitely more expensive if even possible. Mexico is the second-largest supplier of oil to the U.S. market. The decline will intensify America's dependence on Middle East oil.

Many experts - Matthew Simmons, Richard Heinberg, Colin Campbell, Bilaal Abdullah and members of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil - have said that when Ghawar Peaks so does the world.

Rumours and experts outside Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state controlled oil company, believe Ghawar has already peaked or is currently peaking. It is definitely showing symptoms. Some reports have stated that the water cut level is nearing 50 percent of the total liquids being pumped out by its more than 300 wellheads.

Combined with the news in January, 2006 from the Kuwait Oil Company that their super giant Burgan oil field has peaked, this strongly suggests we are in Peak Oil.

Do we need anymore convincing that Peak Oil is imminent? The world cannot sit idle waiting for a technological fix. If there was a solution or an immediate alternative do you think America would be spending billions to occupy Iraq? Our denial won't make the problem disappear. As Bilaal Abdulah's book notes, we need a global paradigm shift or we're all in big trouble.

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".


View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By Fossil (anonymous) | Posted March 19, 2006 at 06:20:31

Yes, yes a trillion barrels later, yes. But it isn't as though this is a sudden revelation... those who cared to look (with an open mind) could see this coming 30, 40, or, for some even more than 50 years ago. And we just kept heading deeper into the abyss. It isn't easier now to rescue ourselves. Forced realization by crisis won't make survival likelier. Once our entire civilization is disenfranchised from it's only means of support -- civilized, unaggressive, cooperative, compassionate attitudes will likely be as scarce as oil itself. I for one see a long dark age approaching. An age that may not have a light at the end of the tunnel. A depleted, polluted world, in fact may not offer a tunnel at all, only a forever silent mass grave. There is no place left on this planet where a lush vibrant environment could support a 'natural' human life. All such places have long since been trampled. Even paradise wasn't good enough for us... we had to have more... more children, more convenience, go faster, faster, faster... feeling insecure in the real world - a world we didn't CONTROL, we had to completely surround ourselves with our own manipulated environment... we didn't leave the Garden of Eden -- we controlled it, strangled it, sucked it dry, to death. The landmarks are gone, and now we're lost.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Dick (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2006 at 03:56:41

Typical "First World" food production is very wasteful. In the US, the contribution to a person's ecological footprint is cut by 90% is local organic production is substituted for industrial production model. Livestock, properly managed, can contribute to increased water infiltration and more vegetation, both reducing the EF by increasing ecological efficiency. The proportional productivity of land increases as the seasonality of rainfall increases (greater difference between wet and dry seasons), which often is correlated with a lower annual rainfall. However, these alternatives imply a seasonal food supply with less variety than we take for granted. The Land Institute (Salina, Kansas) is developing perennial grain crops, which can be planted in a polyculture with legumes, giving longer seasonal production, continuous ground cover (little or no erosion, improved soil fertility) and further reduce the resource imput while increasing annual output. This will support both crop and animal production on the same area with increased ecosystem functionality, including wildlife diversity, and needs no fossil energy, only solar energy, in principle. This does not solve the human greed and ignorance problems, but it offers alternative ways of thinking.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By tahoevalleylines (anonymous) | Posted March 27, 2006 at 01:31:03

Trevor Shaw would do well to memorize this phrase: "Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform"- railway, designated "Post Roads" by 1838 act of US Congress. Making possible SOCIETAL & COMMERCIAL COHESION thru the Fossils Rollover period, re-establishing railway as the basis for surface transport will extend fossil fuel for agriculture, etc. Electric Railways, vastly expanded in capacity & reach, will use to best advantage, renewable power source directly. Begin with what is still at hand, rehab branch network, analyse best siting for local victuals warehousing with rail/trucking interface. Research farmers markets of the early 20th century, rail served, with cross-platform break-bulk & loading for delivery to neighborhood markets. This can be done over several years, mundane though it sounds, while the brighter ones among us fish about for technofix breakthru, and various means to assure a private car for everyone on earth at puberty... Entrepreneurs will be able to eat with the rest of us backwards types, as long as the resources & food & goods can be distributed. MTBE- More Trains Before Extinction!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By David (anonymous) | Posted April 01, 2006 at 07:18:04

Inertial forces are a key problem in mitigating the Peak Oil crisis. Who will be first to sacrifice their own job to make a change? Hydrogen takes more energy to make than it gives back. A zillion more nuke plants to provide the electricity for hydrogen extraction seems feasable, until you check into the available fuel for such plants. The fact is - nothing replaces oil for the energy available per pound of the stuff. The supply problems appear to be coming too fast to make a painless transition. Oil depletion and resulting price shock will probably occur just about the time that the US dollar is taking a major fall due to reduced hegemony and massive inflation to pay off countries dumping their dollars. The economic tragedy that occurs will by itself limit oil consumption. The Peak Oil problem isn't an energy issue - it's an economic issue. Economies seem to have incredible elasticity, until the rubber snaps - then the failing economy domino quickly. It seems to me the only way out of this will be a world wide shift to very simple non-consumptuous lifestyles. People now living off the grid and growing their own food won't even miss the closing Walmarts and hardly know anything is wrong. But the ones who own nothing but debt and depend on oil for a 100 mile commute to a worthless job to pay the bank are going to be in serious trouble. If we only used oil to produce food and truly necessary items of life, there will be plenty for a long time - enough time to work through the transition. But the idea of finding alternative methods of fueling the present insanity is hopeless, and there seems to be no way out except for a lot of starving homeless people. I tend to agree with some who are predicting a "Post Industrial Stone Age".

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By doomsday (anonymous) | Posted April 20, 2006 at 20:28:43

^ Brilliant David. I especially like this "But the ones who own nothing but debt and depend on oil for a 100 mile commute to a worthless job to pay the bank are going to be in serious trouble."

I think you're correct about the Peak Oil crises will occur at about the same as the U.S. dollar looses about half its value from a disruption to the Petrodollar cycle and the world dumping their greenback reserves in favour of gold or euros, only compounding the problem. Many huge events in world history were not manifested by one traumatic event, but the untimley sequence of several crises. We will witness a world turning point in the next 10-15 years, with the collapse of the giant super power known as the U.S.A.

Historians will write "that despite its huge military dominance and total economic world hegemony it was surprisingly venerable. Small cracks within their own social order were easily opened into enormous faults. It appeared that Americans were never really at war with foreign communists, terrorists, or socialists, but they were at war with themselves."

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By reidvinette (registered) | Posted April 25, 2006 at 22:35:06

April 23, 2006

Iranian oil and the nuclear crises - All the pieces are coming together.

Hybrids are going to be more popular than ever. This year while researching for a story on fossil fuels for my son, I discovered some very startling things. My search on fossil fuels lead to Peak Oil, which lead to US oil depletion in 2010, which lead to world wide oil depletion in 2030, which lead to the biggest story of the year and that was the US government and US military involvement in Sept 11, 2001.

Dramatic events are beginning to unfold in the United States with regards to our oil depletion problem.
In 2010 the domestic oil reserves in the United States will be exhausted and we will be depending 100% on foreign oil. Beginning this year 2006 - 2010 the global demand for oil resources will exceed supply.
The United States is on the cusp of oil shocks as the price begins to sky rocket.

Peak Oil - (Hubbert's curve) has been passed as of 2000-2001.

The United States government will do what ever is necessary to secure what abundant oil reserves are left on the planet. Those include Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia.

  1. The US government becomes aware of an impending domestic oil shortage in the late 1970s when it is confirmed that Hubbert’s Peak has been reached for domestic oil production. At this time Hubbert’s Curve predicts that domestic oil depletion will occur in 2010. The United States government has 30 years to come up with a solution to a very serious future problem.

    In the year 2000 the US Congress listens to a report called, Life After the Oil Crash. It is a very sobering report on future oil shortages in the United States and the effects on the economy. The crises time line begins in 2006 – 2010.

  2. US government needs control of Afghanistan for an oil pipeline to go down through
    Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. This pipeline will be used to move oil from Central Asia. Turkmenistan, Caspian Basin, etc.

    Afghanistan is the geographical key for an oil pipeline to bring Central Asian oil down through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. Besides the Persian Gulf, Central Asia has the most abundant oil reserves on the planet. (Caspian Basin, Turkmenistan, etc) During the 1980s the United States government (+ others) trained and armed Afghanistan freedom fighters to drive out the occuping USSR military. It was important to drive the USSR out because the United States needed the strategic area.

  3. US government needs additional easy to extract light crude oil, which is available in the Persian Gulf. Iraq and Iran have the other two largest reserves in the world, which they do not yet control.

    Iraq is crucial to the short term prosperity of the United States, because it has the third largest oil reserves on the planet. After the Gulf War, the United States spent nine years destroying Iraqi military assets to ensure an easy military attack, invasion, and occupation. Saddam Hussein was not going to willing share Iraqi oil with the US and so the US Government had to go in and essentially cease it for our domestic use. (Not to mention all the damage Saddam Hussein did in Kuwait.)

  4. In order to launch military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to over throw local governments the United States government needs to get Americans on board and supportive along with World opinion. The big event to do the trick is a huge terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 by foreign terrorists. The World Trade Centers, World Trade Center #7, the Pentagon, and the White House are targeted by the United States government in co-operation with the United States military. The World Trade Center Towers and World Trade Center #7 are destroyed to satisfy several objectives. 1. To blame terrorists. 2. For the gold bullion $160 billion. 3. Destroy financial records of Wall Street and stock market manipulations. 4. Wall Street company executives are aware of the planned domestic attack and try to further their gain by placing put options on all of the airlines worth $100 million. The World Trade Center Towers and World Trade Building 7 are brought down in a controlled demolition by none other than Controlled Demolition, Inc.

  5. The population of the United States and the World are horrified. President Bush and the United States government have the approval and the money they need to go to war against the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course there really aren't any terrorists, just a massive looming oil shortage for the United States.

  6. Afghanistan is secured and then Iraq. The story for Iraq is a tie in to Afghanistan and weapons of mass destruction. Once the Iraqi oil fields are secure the US government can breath a little easier. They now have the third largest oil reserve in the world to supply oil to the United States economy and Canada.

    Both Afghanistan and Iraq are key to secure oil reserves for the United States economy to keep everything humming along for a few more years.

  7. The next oil rich country the United States government needs to control is Iran. Iran has the 2nd largest oil reserves in the world with light crude oil. (The Alberta Tar Sands do not count as the oil is to expensive to extract in volume) There are only 24 years of oil supply left in the world, 15 if consumption increases to meet China's growing demand. The United States government needs to control Iran's oil fields in order to ensure the continued health of the United States economy and to a lesser extent Canada.

  8. Iran realizes that it is in the United States crosshairs for annexation. With the help of Russia and China its armed forces are significantly fortified and nuclear technology begins development. Under the guise of civilian applications the program begins. For its very survival Iran needs to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent to a US lead invasion force. Russia and China co-operate because they need the Iranian oil exports for their own developing countries. Oil = economic growth and economic stability.

  9. The United States cannot tolerate Iran developing nuclear weapons because this becomes a very real military threat to the United States military forces in the area. Annexation of Iran would be much more difficult with the threat of a potential hostile nuclear attack on the 5th fleet in the Persian Gulf. It would be devastating and may lead to the destruction of oil tankers heading out of the Persian Gulf to the United States.

  10. To have more control militarily in the area (Persian Gulf) the United States government and the United States military begin to equip Israel and Turkey with the latest advanced weapon systems, including delivery systems capable of supporting low yield nuclear weapons, which will be required to annex Iran by destroying their military assets, especially the nuclear facilities.

    With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World's 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Israel has also received 5,000 Bunker Buster Bombs from the United States. Many of these may be tipped with low yield nuclear warheads. The target for these weapons is Iran.

  11. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's President finds out about the weapons being stock piled in Israel and Turkey and is very angry. There may also be a religious angle, which is beyond the scope of this text. He knows that Israel and Turkey are conspiring with the United States to annex Iran for their oil reserves. Hence Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's President's extreme anger towards Israel.

  12. In order to maintain a military balance of power between Iran and the United States, Russia and China are working around the clock to help upgrade Iran’s military defenses. This includes nuclear weapons technology and missile technology. The Iranian military is now in possession of the Sunburn anti-ship missile, which now renders the American naval fleet in the Persian gulf defenseless if they decide to attack Iran.

    This balance of power is essential to save thousands if not millions of lives.

  13. Domestic oil reserves in the United States will be depleted in 2010. At this time the United States economy will begin to contract and possibly collapse. Beginning in 2006 – 2010 oil shocks created by oil shortages will begin to sweep through the industrialized countries of the world. These include the United States and Canada. There will not be enough oil to meet worldwide demand.

  14. By 2030 all easily accessible world oil reserves will be depleted and the industrial world as we know it will come to an end.

  15. The United States government is trying to delay their inevitable economic collapse as long as possible. As a country the United States needs to begin to prepare itself and evolve other ways of transportation, products, and domestic survival not dependent on oil. Oil is not going anyway; it is just going to become very scarce.

The United States government will never admit to this unfolding crises, because it may destabilize the country. Neither will this news be carried in mainstream media due to government censorship. This is for your information only.

Supporting documentaries Movies: The End Of Suburbia Loose Change 911 2nd edition The Oil Factor

Key supporting articles are:

After the Oil Crash

Report by Peak Oil Netherlands

Oil Depletion Home Page

Peak Oil Forum in World Watch

Association for the study of Peak Oil & Gas

The Countdown for the Peak of Oil Production

Greatest Oil Reserves By Country

Kuwait's biggest field starts to run out of oil - 20051112

Loose Change 911 2nd Edition

Nuclear War Against Iran

Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran

Israeli Weapons of Mass Destruction: a Threat to Peace

Prominent US Physicists Call Nuclear Weapons against Iran Gravely Irresponsible Letter to President Bush

The Sunburn - Iran's Awesome Nuclear Anti-Ship Missile The Weapon That Could Defeat The US In The Gulf

Moskit SS-N-22 Sunburn

Day One – The War With Iran

Global Online Resources For Information (US News sources are heavily censored and full of propaganda.
It’s best to get your news from multiple sources around the world.)

Iran News Watch

Global Research

Iran Daily

Iran Atom

Daily Times Pakistan

News 24 – South Africa

China View - xinhuanet

Russia News

New Zealand World News


Please do not take my word on what is written here. Do your own research and investigate.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By reidvinette (registered) | Posted June 08, 2006 at 03:11:07

June 7, 2006

The world is now at Peak Oil for the United States with the five supergiant oil fields supplying this country now in decline as of March 16, 2005. It takes one year to realize an oil field is in decline.

Beginning on March 16, 2006 the energy crises for the United States began ... or did it.

If there is an energy crises, it is a crises which has been created by the oil companies and industrial governments like the United States and Canada.

There is an energy solution to power modern day vehicles and it is called on demand water fracturing into hydrogen and oxygen.

This technology is so powerful that industrial governments are trying to keep a lid on it.



Industrial governments cannot tax the water it takes to fill your water tank in your car.

Oil companies cannot profit from the sale of water it takes to fill your water tank in your car.

Discover water fracturing technology and begin experimenting in your garage.

The energy crises I believe is a myth now.

Water fracturing technology can preserve valuable oil for petro-chemical products, and agricultural uses. Water fracturing technology can be used for vehicle transportation, and energy to power electrical generating plants now dependant on natural gas.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By reidvinette (registered) | Posted June 18, 2006 at 19:07:44

June 18, 2006

The only way to disprove a theory is to try it. I have down loaded Stanley Meyers patents for the water fracture technology and have obtained the circuit layouts and description for Nichola Tesla's electric car. For fun I'll work on bringing this technology to life. I'll keep you informed of my progress. There is nothing to loose and everything to be gained.

In my opinion, if someone wanted to cover up the technology, they would almost certainly discredit as a hoax. Who would investigate a technology labeled as a hoax?

There is a fun video from PBS called Einsteins Big Idea, available on In this story there is a woman who discovers the true equation for kinetic energy. E = 1/2 * m * v(squared)

After the discovery was made it took 100 years for the experts of the day to accept that v=velocity needed to be squared.

I'm not saying your wrong, I just want to check out the claims for myself. fun father and son projects so to speak.

Many other inventions have been shelved for new car engines because of either government or oil company interferance.

On that note there has been a recent invention in Russia called the Star Light battery. Nicola Tesla discovered a vast sea of energy surronding the earth and found a way to tap it. The Star light battery takes advantage of that energy. I'll bet you anything the new star light battery is either proved a hoax or it disappears.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Trevor Shaw (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2007 at 23:22:08

reidvinette -- I'd like to follow up with you regarding your progress on the water fracture technology. And since your comments are almost two-years old now and many of them have come true. can you contact me? thanks....

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By private guide in Saint-Petersburg (anonymous) | Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:54:57

Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you present. It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same old rehashed information. Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools