Paper III: Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on
world oil production
Mikael Höök, Robert Hirsch, Kjell Aleklett
Abstract. The most important contributors to the world's total oil production are the giant oil fields. Us-
ing a comprehensive database of giant oil field production, the average decline rates of the world's giant
oil fields are estimated. Separating subclasses was necessary, since there are large differences between
land and offshore fields, as well as between non-OPEC and OPEC fields. The evolution of decline rates
over past decades includes the impact of new technologies and production techniques and clearly shows
that the average decline rate for individual giant fields is increasing with time. These factors have signifi-
cant implications for the future, since the most important world oil production base giant fields will
decline more rapidly in the future, according to our findings. Our conclusion is that the world faces an
increasing oil supply challenge, as the decline in existing production is not only high now but will be
increasing in the future.
Key words. Giant oil fields, decline rates, peak oil, future oil production
91 Paper III: Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on world oil production Mikael Höök, Robert Hirsch, Kjell Aleklett Abstract.