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Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari passes away

Sadly, a message on Ali’s website states that he died last month:

Dear friends and associates,

Regrettably we inform you that Dr. Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari passed away in October month 2007.

Dr. Samsam-Bakhtiari's funeral and burial ceremony took place in Tehran, Iran.

We thank you in advance for supporting our father's objectives during his career. All inquiries may be directed to amirbsamsamb@hotmail.com .

Sincerely,
Golbenaz & Amir Bahman Samsam Bakhtiari
Vancouver B.C. 2007

Ali was well known throughout the Peak Oil community, but was of particular importance because he was one of the few members who came from an OPEC country, Iran. I never actually met Ali, but heard him speak at the ASPO annual conference in Berlin, May 2004 (Ali’s speech, PDF). Several people who new him well have told me what a kind, helpful and decent man he was, and he was most helpful and courteous with any queries I sent him.

Ali was a semi-regular contributor to ODAC News from the beginning of last year at its inception, to June this year. Over May / June 2007, we were discussing Iranian and Iraqi oil reserves. Then on 22nd June, just two weeks later and out of the blue, Ali announced that he was quitting ODAC’s 'International Advisory Board'. Roundabout the same time, Ali posted this message (his last) on his website, Personal Clarification, at which point he more or less cut himself off from the Peak Oil community.

One of Ali’s biggest worries was that Iran’s oil production was about to fall precipitously. In May of this year, the Middle East Economic Survey ran an item entitled “Iranian Energy Sector In Crisis, Says CGES”. It was Ali that alerted me to this article:

I just wanted to call your attention to a piece in MEES (#21 - May 21, 2007) entitled : "Iran Energy Sector in Crisis, says CGES".

With the typical CGES bias for understatements, there must be lots of fires being this smoke. Things look really grim these days. Fortunately it is now 14 months I have retired from NIOC...[National Iranian Oil Company]

There are several very interesting articles on Ali’s website, I recommend a visit.

Matt Simmons sent out an e-mail re Ali’s passing away:

Dear friends:

What a tragedy.

Ali was one of the greatest humanarist I have ever met and the friendship we made, primarily by email, was extraordinary.

For any of you who did not get the opportunity to read the great book he wrote "The Last of the Khans" about his grandfather have missed a great piece of literature written in the past several generations.

He was someone you rarely have the chance to meet, let alone become a great friend of.

I will cherish the time we spent together as one of the best spin-offs of the creation of the Association of the Study of Peak Oil (aka "ASPO")

Very sincerely
Matt Simmons

In another e-mail, Matt Mushalik of ASPO Sydney, Australia, wrote:

The last time Dr. Bakhtiari visited Australia was in July 2006 when he gave a 3 hr testimony to the Senate Inquiry on oil supplies, a transcript of which is available here (PDF, 335 Kb):

You may want to save away this historic document as evidence of his untiring work to alert the world to the immanence of peak oil.

Some articles on or by Ali:

Peak Oil and Bakhtiari's 4 Phases of Transition
Byron W. King, Whiskey and Gunpowder, 25 Aug 2006

Nothing Like Business as Usual
Byron W. King, Whiskey and Gunpowder, 11 Aug 2006

Bakhtiari On Middle East Oil Reserves
Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari, EV World, 20 February 2006

The man who foresaw skyrocketing oil prices
Adam Porter, Aljazeera, 1 October 2004
[EB editor: link no longer seems to work]

Editorial Notes: Dr. Bakhtiari was an early proponent of the peak oil theory (articles at Energy Bulletin). Before his recent retirement, he had worked as a senior expert for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) since 1971. Big Gav gives some background -BA

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