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“Asleep In America” promo on YouTube

Kelly Way, YouTube
As the worlds hydrocarbons deplete pressure to control them increases. Asleep in America explores the the geopolitics of oil from a historical prospective allowing the viewer the opportunity to understand our sometimes violent relationship with the producing countries
(30 Oct 2006)
More about the film at the ASPO website.

FTW report on the Boston world oil conference
ASPO-USA positions itself to be a big player

Michael Kane, From The Wilderness
…The Boston World Oil Conference that ran from October 25th through the 28th showed me that ASPO-USA has a much better understanding of the energy problems we are facing than they do of the local solutions we need. They are focusing on an ill-fated “Plan B” although, to their credit, they are not painting a rosy picture. The debate they are encouraging is relatively fair and balanced but only in the realm of big business ‘solutions’. My suspicions tell me that many in ASPO-USA largely agree with the “extreme” Peak Oilists (FTW, CultureChange, Back-to-the-Land Movement, etc…) but will not outwardly say so. Albert Bates had a table at the conference where he was selling Crossing the Rubicon.

Lynn Benander of Coop Power, a consumer owned cooperative building sustainable energy resources in New England and New York, was literally booed by a male-dominated audience when she dared to ask a very valid question – perhaps the most important question of the entire conference. I interviewed her after she was disrespectfully shutdown.

“I am concerned because all of the projections (in Hirsch Report 2) for how we are going to address Peak Oil issues are all very large business, significant interventions that have tremendous environmental impact issues,” said Benander. “They neglected 56% of our economy which is place-based businesses, non-profits, government entities, and cooperatives that are providing tremendous services and are also places people trust more.”

A very brief answer was given to her question from Robert M. Bezdek, who co-authored Hirsch Report 2 (fully titled Economic Impacts of Liquid Fuel Mitigation Options). Bezdek simply stated they don’t know how to estimate the impact of the sectors Benander brought up, so they are not included.

…Not all of the presenters at the conference believe the American consumer needs to be coddled, but these people were in the minority. John Darnel, who is the energy advisor to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett; Julian Darley of the Post Carbon Institute; and Peak Oil expert Richard Heinberg all professed the urgent need to decrease demand by lessening consumption. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and Richard Heinberg were both presented well-deserved M. King Hubbert awards for educating the public on Peak Oil.

…The Boston World Oil Conference was where I first found out that Simmons did not know about Peak Oil until 2001 when he participated in a CIA study analyzing global oil production and decline rates. There were about 10 experts analyzing global oil production with various models. Simmons had no model, but how could anyone have any model without knowing the names of the world’s top producing oil fields? Simmons asked if any of the CIA’s experts could name the top ten fields in the world. Ghawar and Burgan were named, but that was it. Not even Cantarell, the gigantic oil field in Mexico that has recently passed its peak, was mentioned. Without this information it is impossible to estimate decline rates no matter what model is used.

This motivated Simmons to get the names of the top producing fields, and what he found was that 50% of the world’s oil is produced by 120 fields. Geologist Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton told Simmons that his field-by-field analysis brought the first new discipline into the study of Peak Oil since M. King Hubbert; that is, not just looking at reserves, but looking at individual fields by production.

…William Clarke gave a solid presentation on how vulnerable the petrodollar is to emerging currencies. He sees a multi-polar world order emerging as other nations (China, Iran, Russia) start to denominate oil in currencies other than the dollar. During Q&A I asked Clarke for his opinion regarding Russia’s announcement that it will be opening an oil bourse priced in rubles. I mentioned that FTW’s military affairs editor, Stan Goff, believes that the petro-ruble could be the “checkmate” of the petrodollar largely due to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and large hydrocarbon reserves.

Clarke responded by saying, “I suspect that Vladimir Putin is a pretty good chess player.”
(30 Oct 2006)
Much more on the conference at the original article at From The Wilderness.

William Clark talks about Petrodollar Warfare

Marc Strassman, Etopia Media
A 30-minute audio interview with Petrodollar Warfare author William R. Clark, recorded October 24, 2006, at Scripps College in Claremont, California.
(24 Oct 2006)

Grinzo: Securing future energy will be difficult but doable

Mark Hare, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Lou Grinzo is the grass roots, where change in America always begins.

A technical writer with a degree in economics, Grinzo has worked for IBM and Microsoft Corp.

Since the 1973 oil crisis, he’s been, in his words, an “energy geek” – fascinated by the relationship between energy supplies and economics.

Grinzo, 49, and his wife, Liz, moved to Greece from the Southern Tier three years ago. And recently he did his first “Energy Futures” presentation at the town library. He hopes to turn the abridged version into a continuing education course.

“I’m trying to do two things,” he says. “Introduce people to the major trends in energy development and talk about what can be done, and then to give them the references they’ll need to fact-check me.” (There are plenty of references on his “The Cost of Energy” Web site at

Grinzo’s take is not nearly as dire as say, author James Kunstler’s The Long Emergency, which says that we are looking at less and more expensive oil, while no alternatives on the horizon can fill the coming energy gap. Americans, Kuntsler says, must radically change the way we live and adapt to harsher times.

The world is at or near what’s called “Peak Oil,” after which the world’s oil production will steadily decline. The exact date doesn’t really matter, Grinzo says. The important thing is that future oil deposits will be harder to reach (five or six miles below the ocean surface, for example) and of lower quality.

We won’t run out of oil, Grinzo says, because as the price goes up, we will replace it with other fuels now considered pricey.

“Can we live with $100 barrel oil? Yes. It won’t be fun, but we can do it,” he says.
(29 Oct 2006)

Shell executive sees gas supplies tightening

Peter J. Howe, Boston Globe
Shell president John Hofmeister came through Cambridge this week and spoke with the Globe’s Peter J. Howe.

Q How much longer can that excess supply keep dampening prices?

A We’re pretty much getting to the end of it and back to more of a living hand-to-mouth situation in terms of supply. When you get to a hand-to-mouth situation, you can see a lot more volatility in prices. Demand is higher than a year ago, and once that’s worked off, we could see the same supply-demand tensions we saw a year ago.

Q Isn’t the world running out of oil?

A We’re going to have an extraordinary challenge meeting the demand of the future if we don’t drill somewhere. I agree with the premise that we’ve moved on from the easy oil environment. We’ve moved on to simply more technically challenging basins and more harsh climactic conditions. That can mean more outer continental shelf drilling. We’re also looking at sources like the oil sands in western Canada or shale in Colorado or what they call heavy oil in Venezuela. These are trillion-barrel reserves. We look at the unconventional sources as an opportunity.
(28 Oct 2006)