(Note: Sorry about the small graph. Blogger is demonstrating the wrath of her bugs again.)
The peakers are certainly counting their chickens until peak oil fiesta kicks in. 5%, 8% - who knows, maybe we'll have double-digit decline-rates dragging us down to hell! The only problem is if the decline in non-OPEC crude production is a sign of things to come - the 2004 non-OPEC peak, after all, was an event that threw the peakers into an ecstasy of orgy four years back - it's likely they're going to be very disappointed.
I peaked over at the most recent issue of Oil Watch Monthly to see how things were going; pretty slow as expected, and as evidenced from the graph above, production is a smidgen up this year. From 2005 to 2008, production fell - at worst - a rough 1% - a far cry from the 5%+ dreams of many peakers.
Naturally if non-OPEC production was falling at 5% annually, we would have a load boat of problems: this would translate into about 6 mbpd of loss production, not the rough 1 mbpd. And remember - this is factoring heavy losses from both Canterrell and the N Sea.
The game of the debunkers has never been about denying peak oil, but rather, sifting through the hype, paranoia, rank facts and outright lies to bring a better sense of rationalization of things to come, of how the era of peak oil will materialize.
One should run under this theory to determine the world's fate: if peakers have been dead wrong for the past 100 years in the pre-peak world, they're going to be just as wrong in the post-peak era. If non-OPEC production is any indicator, we can rest assure that when worldwide conventional crude enters its decline, the human race will have plenty of time to adjust, thus preparing itself for the next phase of its energy destiny.
God, we should all be delightful.