Why? There are two critical reasons the current record level of U.S. oil production won’t last and is also, a house of cards. First of all, oil production profiles tend to be somewhat symmetrical. They rise and fall in the same manner. While this doesn’t happen in every country or every oil field, we do see similar patterns. For example, this similar trend is taking place in both Argentina and Norway:
Here we can see that oil production increased, peaked and declined in a similar pattern in both Argentina and Norway. However, many countries had their domestic oil industries impacted by wars, geopolitical events, and or enhanced oil recovery techniques that have resulted in altered production profiles. Regardless, the United States experienced a symmetrical oil production profile from 1930 to 2007:
As we can see in the chart, U.S. oil production from 1930 to 2007 increased and then declined in the same fashion. On the other hand, the new Shale Oil Production trend is much different. What took 23 years for U.S. oil production to double from 5 million barrels per day (mbd) in 1947 to a peak of nearly 10 mbd in 1970, was accomplished in less than a decade with the new shale oil industry. Total U.S. oil production doubled from 5 mbd in 2009 to over 10 mbd currently.
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