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Interview: Jerre Stead, chief executive of business information supplier IHS Inc.

Steve Raabe, Denver Post
Q: As a major supplier of information about energy, are you finding any good news to report, or is it all about record prices?

A: While no one likes the record prices we’re paying for oil and gas, the good news is that it’s brought a renewed focus on energy and the environment to everyone around the world.

We’re getting requests for information and support from our customers around the world on environmental issues such as carbon footprint, alternative energy supplies and emissions reduction. The good news is that people and companies have finally moved from just talking about environmental issues to actually doing something about them.

… Q: What about supplies? Where do you stand on the “peak oil” theory that production will peak in coming years and then gradually decline?

A: Nobody doubts that oil is a finite resource, but the debate today is about the scale of that resource and how much of it remains to be produced.

We have conducted extensive analysis of future productive capacity based on developable oil reserves and future growth through exploration and technology advances. This indicates that oil production can grow until at least 2030.

The more important elements in determining growth will be politics, security and contractor capacity. This may limit the rate of growth.
(14 June 2008)

With crude oil prices skyrocketing, companies are squeezing every ounce out of Bay area wells

Jeff Kart, Bay City Times (Michigan)
When Jack Harkins got his start 47 years ago, his 60 oil wells in the Kawkawlin area produced a total of 125 barrels of crude oil a day.

The wells are just dribbling now, putting out 40 barrels, said Harkins, president of Lease Management Inc. in Mount Pleasant.

But he’s still running them, with oil at historic highs. Crude from Michigan was selling for about $130 a barrel on Friday. The nationwide price was about $137 a barrel on Thursday.

“They make a lot of money right now, but they don’t make a lot of oil,” Harkins, 68, said of 165 oil wells he owns in the state.

The high price of crude oil – which is translating to $4-a-gallon gasoline – has U.S. companies tapping oil reserves throughout the state, even in spots where wells were once left for dry. In the Saginaw Bay area, existing reserves have been declining for years.

But there’s some hope out there, with new exploration technology and wells drilled last year in Arenac and Clare counties that are producing up to 100 barrels per well per day
(15 June 2008)

Exxon to exit U.S. retail gas business

Michael Erman, Reuters
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) said on Thursday it is getting out of the retail gas business in the United States as sky-high crude oil prices squeeze margins.

Those branded service stations may be the most public aspect of Exxon’s business, but they account for a small part of the company’s profits.
(12 June 2008)