In November 2000 energy resource "pessimist" Richard Duncan projected that North American natural gas production would peak in 2012, and would be the trigger event leading to the descent into "Olduvai Gorge," ie, the end of industrial civilization (http://dieoff.com/page224.htm). Then in February 2001 Duncan revised his projections and moved the gas peak date forward to 2007 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dieoff/message/10).
Now it seems that Duncan may have some formidable competition in the "pessimist" department. The competition is the Canadian Gas Projection Committee. Since US gas production has been slowly declining since about 1970, and since Mexican production is insignificant and also declining, all the "swing" production in recent years has been from Canada. Concerning Canadian natural gas (NG) production, Richard Duncan wrote in his February 2001 revision:
RESULTS: Canada NG production in 1999 comprised a sizeable 21.5% of NA
production. From 1983 to 1995, Canada production grew by an astounding
114%, i.e. an average growth rate of 6.0 %/year during 12 years. Then from 1995
to 1999 growth slowed to 2.1 %/year. Canada NG production is forecast to peak
in 2005 at 6.1 Tcf. Then from 2005 to 2040, Canada production plunges by 86% --
an average drop of 4.3 %/year during 35 years. My model forecasts
Canada EUR = 290 Tcf, in exact agreement with the USGS Canada Mean GCPE = 290 Tcf."
This projection seems to be more optimistic than that of the Canadian Gas Projection Committee. They seem to think the available peak for Alberta natural gas (over 80% of Canadian production) is NOW, and the rate of decline will be much greater than 4.3% per year. See the attached Figure 5 from the first reference below. The other references show similar projections.
Since natural gas from Canada constitutes nearly 30% of California's supply (http://www.energy.ca.gov/naturalgas/natural_gas_facts.html), the effects of the decline will be most severe in that state. The other 70% of California's natural gas comes from the western US where gas production is already in decline (http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/data_publications/natural_gas_monthly/current/pdf/table_07.pdf). Richard, are we missing something here, or is it time for another update? KD
SUPPLY AS A FUNCTION OF
ENDOWMENT (March 2000)
CANADIAN GAS SUPPLY: GOING UP?
OR DOWN? (800Mb, Mar 2000)
Parabolic Projection of
Conventional Natural Gas Production from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
John H. Walsh, Energy Advisor
Natural Gas Potential in Canada
(First Report by the Canadian Gas Potential Committee)