The Rise Of 'Plateau Oil' In Four Charts

Peak oil is dead.

As we and others have written, the combination of the U.S. shale boom and flagging demand are going to start pushing markets sideways.

We recently got four new charts that elaborate on this phenomenon, which one might call plateau oil and gas.

It’s way better than peak oil, we’d argue, because it should leave both consumers and producers slightly satisfied and slightly unsatisfied.

First, the EIA says the oil production boom is going to decelerate by about 200,000 barrels a day starting next year.

But overall oil production is soon going to hit 12 million barrels a day, and will stay there for a while.

This will help gas prices stay range bound — around $US3.50, which has also been the quarterly average since Mach 2011 — for the foreseeable future.

For natgas (oil’s brother in fossil fuels), the production deceleration is already under way.

But the U.S. is going to be pumping about 70 billion cubic feet of natgas for as far as the eye can see.

And consumption will probably never get much higher than 90 billion cubic feet a day (we still import some).

We can live with this.

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