(hat tip stormy)
Robert Hirsch notes the following in Energy Bulletin:
The world is now in a period of epic economic chaos. People are disoriented and unsure of what it will take to restore their economies. Many serious economists, financiers, and executives are loath to even forecast when an economic recovery might begin. It’s easier for me now to understand how my parents and grandparents must have felt during the 1930s.
But the peak oil problem has not gone away. World liquid fuels production reached a plateau in mid-2004 and has fluctuated within a relatively narrow range in spite of mighty efforts to increase world production. In mid-2008, benefitting from the work of Campbell, Laherrere, Skrebowski, Aleklett, Simmons, Robelius, Gilbert, Bentley, Al Husseini, Deffeyes, Koppelaar, Birol, and others, I came to believe that world liquids production might stay on the existing plateau for the next 2-5 years and then go into a 3-5% per year decline.
Recently, OPEC cut back oil production in an attempt to stem the oil price decline. How much might their cutbacks delay the onset of world liquid fuels production decline? Assuming the plateau model and five years to the onset of decline, each million barrels per day of oil production withholding buys roughly three weeks delay, so a steady, continuing reduction of say four million barrels per day over five years might result in a delay in the onset of world oil production decline by maybe three months. That’s not very much. We’ve now in a period of major human disorientation, but geology does not become disoriented on the human timescale.