Peak oil - Jan 15
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Indonesia: No Longer an Oil Exporter
Sarah Belfield, Energy Tribune
Indonesia’s oil production continues its inexorable decline, and, despite government promises, little apparent progress is being made. Worse yet, the long-time oil exporter has become an oil importer, currently importing about 100,000 barrels per day.
OPEC-member Indonesia rea-ched peak oil output of about 1.6 million bpd back in 1991. In 2006, production was just over 1 million bpd – a drop of about 5.3 percent, compared to 2005.
(15 Jan 2008)
Christophe de Margerie, the boss of Total, thinks that the world's oil production may be nearing its peak
[The opinions of CHRISTOPHE DE MARGERIE, chief executive of Total, the most valuable company in France (and, indeed, in the whole of the euro zone),] stand out, at least within the ranks of senior oilmen. Last year he declared that the world would never be able to increase its output of oil from the current level of 85m barrels per day (b/d) to 100m b/d, let alone the 120m b/d that energy analysts predict will be needed by 2030. That is in stark contrast with the view of Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of Total's larger American rival, Exxon Mobil, who argues that the world is neither short of oil, nor likely to be any time soon. It also contradicts the line of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which claims that the only thing that prevents its members from producing more oil is the fear that no one will buy it.
Many bigwigs in the industry have complained that their firms are excluded from the most promising territory for exploration by prickly governments that would prefer to go it alone. Some have concluded that this fad for “resource nationalism” will help to keep the oil price high for some time to come. But none have gone as far as Mr de Margerie in asserting that the oil industry is nearing a peak in production.
Mr de Margerie is careful to point out that he is not predicting “peak oil” in a geological sense. His definition of peak oil is “when supply cannot meet demand”. He believes that the fuel that the world needs to keep its cars and factories running may well be out there, somewhere. It is just getting harder and harder to extract, for technical as well as political reasons. For one thing, he points out, the output of existing fields is declining by 5m-6m b/d every year. That means that oil firms have to find lots of new fields just to keep production at today's levels. Moreover, the sorts of fields that Western oil firms are starting to develop, in very deep water, or of nearly solid, tar-like oil, are ever more technically challenging.
(10 January 2008)
Steve LeVine sends this link also: Finding An Honest Man in Big Oil.
Analyst calls oil at $100/barrel "pretty cheap"
Chris Baltimore, Reuters
Crude oil at $100 a barrel would still be "pretty cheap" because global oil demand shows no signs of abating and new energy sources are in short supply, a prominent U.S. oil analyst said on Thursday.
Matt Simmons, founder of Houston-based Simmons and Co International, dismissed the idea that a looming U.S. recession will tame crude oil prices, which have tumbled since they peaked above $100 a barrel on January 3.
"Demand is far more durable than anyone ever thought," Simmons told Reuters in an interview. "We're on an insatiable growth curve."
Simmons, one of the most outspoken proponents of the "peak oil" theory that world oil production is declining irreversibly, noted that thinning inventories, soaring demand from China, geopolitical turmoil and a weak dollar have pushed crude prices up more than 70 percent from a little over a year ago.
(10 January 2008)
Matt Simmons: Peak oil & beyond
Marin Katusa, Casey Research via Financial Sense
BC: If I can just interject, when you look at the big picture, and try to get to the big numbers of 342 million barrels of oil equivalent per year from all energy types that the world will demand for its energy needs by the year 2030, you need huge increases not only in the production of oil, but you need the other kinds of energy. And you need a huge investment. I’ve seen numbers like $10 or $15 trillion in the infrastructure to get there. My question when looking at the big picture is – how are we going to fund that sort of investment?
MS: And the answer is – the odds of that happening are less than one percent. If we were lucky enough to open up the entire outer continental shelf and then we were lucky enough to invent quickly enough seismic equipment to start doing some sort of a high-grading of where we should drill, and then we were lucky enough to have a growing fleet of newer offshore rigs that could drill wells and we just discovered two new North Seas, then there’s grounds that we could basically spend four or five hundred billion dollars and maybe end up ten years from now with six million barrels a day of fresh supply. But the problem is that each one of those things that I said, ”If we were lucky enough,“ we don’t have. And to create each one of those is going to take ten to fifteen years to do. And ten to fifteen years from now, our 73 million barrels a day of current crude production could easily be down to 50 or 45. So you see even if you had another 6 million barrels per day, you can’t climb back out of the hole.
(9 Jan 2008)
Economist predicts $1.50 a litre for gasoline
Tyler Walton, Toronto Star
CIBC's Jeff Rubin says crude will hit $150 U.S. a barrel within 4 years
Maverick economist Jeff Rubin, who is at the top of his game these days, says Canadians shouldn't be surprised to see gasoline at $1.50 a litre and oil at $150 (U.S.) a barrel within the next four years - possibly much sooner.
Oil depletion from existing fields is outpacing new supply, argues the chief economist of CIBC World Markets, and what supply the International Energy Agency and other tracking bodies are optimistically counting on involves complex and costly "mega-projects" that are likely to see major delays.
And this, according to a CIBC report released yesterday, doesn't even account for the unpredictable: escalating geopolitical tensions and extreme weather events.
...He supports the peak oil theory and believes we've already passed the peak in conventional production. He sees carbon priced at $30 a tonne and a continental cap on emissions within three years. And he says if we're serious about fighting climate change, consumers should face higher energy prices to spark meaningful conservation.
(11 January 2008)
More from The Globe and Mail.
What do you think? Leave a comment below. See our commenting guidelines.
Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.