Hubbert Peak Interactive Spreadsheets

Dr. Thomas Huber

Gustavus Adolphus College

In courses discussing energy, students frequently discuss peak oil and Hubbert's Peak. To make these discussions more concrete, I have written Excel spreadsheets (see bottom of page to download these) that allow students to interact with the historical data for US and World crude oil production and experiment with the Hubbert model.  

These spreadsheets use the Hubbert Linearization technique (See, for example, Kenneth Deffeyes' book "Beyond Oil: A View from Hubbert's Peak").

You can adjust the blue-highlighted parameters (a and Qt) and the spreadsheet will plot the results. For the US model, I also included the option to display the US Energy Information Administration predictions of the impact of additional drilling in ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf. The spreadsheet includes the option to display the EIA's prediction of future US consumption and production. For both spreadsheets, students can also two years to estimate the fraction of US or World production of crude oil that will occur during their lifetime - this can be quite shocking and bring home the short duration of the petroleum era.

You can download these interactive spreadsheets, as well as a handout that students can work on alone or in groups, by clicking on the following links:

This project is based, in part, on Luís de Sousa's Webpage "Hubbert's Peak Mathematics"  
Thomas Huber
Department of Physics
Gustavus Adolphus College
Revised: September 29, 2011