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CERA Conference - Feb 17

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Big Oil frets over rising costs, tough access

Michael Erman, Reuters
HOUSTON - Surging oil prices have brought energy companies record profits in recent years. But the boom has also pushed up the cost of doing business and emboldened oil-producing nations to restrict access to their reserves.

Oil industry executives and insiders speaking at Cambridge Energy Research Associates' conference in Houston this week highlighted the dwindling access to reserves and rising production costs as top challenges for the industry as it seeks to raise output to match growing global energy demand.
(15 Feb 2007)


Ex-oil minister dis on Iraq oil

Ben Lando, UPI
Former Iraq Oil Minister Issam Al-Chalabi paints a bleak picture for the future of Iraq's oil industry, panning the result of the U.S.-led war, its insistence on passing an oil law, and the situation aboveground hampering development of the resources below it.

"Iraq offers nothing but misery and mystery," Chalabi told a plenary this week during an international energy conference in Houston.

... Without naming names, Chalabi (no relation to Ahmed Chalabi, the Pentagon favorite whose faulty intelligence on Saddam Hussein was relied on to make the case for war) took digs at those who said or still say the Iraq war and occupation has been a success.
(15 Feb 2007)


Big Oil sees big risks as it places big bets
At industry conference, even biofuels attract a following

John W. Schoen, MSNBC
HOUSTON - Big Oil has always been a big gamble, with high stakes and the potential for big payoffs. And despite a recent stretch of winning hands and big pots, the risks haven’t gone away. If anything they’ve gotten bigger.

Those high stakes - and strategies for managing them - is the talk of a weeklong industry conference here that has attracted some 2,000 CEOS, analysts, investors, suppliers, consultants and press from 55 countries.

...To keep the world’s economic engine running, some in the oil industry are looking to develop alternative fuels - a notion that not long ago would have been dismissed as heresy here in the Oil Patch. But major investment is now pouring into production of corn-based ethanol and other biofuels...

...The interest in alternative fuels comes just as the energy industry faces bigger risks and steeper challenges finding and developing new reserves to both replace declining output in aging fields and increase overall production to keep up with relentless growth in global demand.
(15 Feb 2007)
John Schoen of MSNBC has written good articles about energy in the past. -BA

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