Some of the world’s largest producers of petroleum are noticing serious dips in their national output.
In fact, Norway – Europe’s second largest exporter of oil is only producing 1.91 million barrels per day…compared to 3.3 million bbl/d in 2000 and 2.2 million bbl/d in 2008.
In 2010, the decline in production is expected to continue down to 1.62 million bbl/d.
This is due to the fact that a majority of Norway’s best petroleum reserves having already been tapped. In fact, the country reached peak production in 2003.
Considering that most of the Norwegian economy is based on petroleum exports, the country needs to look towards a new source of income.
The good news for the Nordic country is that its cash cow has an (almost) identical twin: natural gas.
While petroleum reserves dwindle, natural gas drilling can be held at its present rate for 28 years.
And with the world convening in Copenhagen on December, 6th to discuss global warming, natural gas is about to become a star, as it is a much cleaner source of energy compared to coal or petroleum.
Norway’s not alone. . .
Mexico once had the second largest oil field lying right off its coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The Cantrell oil field was producing 2.1 million barrels per day in 2005.
In just five short years, Cantarell’s production has fallen to 25% of those levels, with a daily production of only 500,000 barrels.
Fortunately, Norway isn’t the only country that has both petroleum and natural gas reserves.
Mexico has ramped up its natural gas production from 1,523 billion cubic feet in ’04 to 1,842 billion in ’08.
Other countries with declining petroleum and increasing natural gas output include Egypt, Denmark and Vietnam.