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Peak oil, prices & supplies- Oct 31

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TNK-BP CEO says Russia oil output likely peaked

Jane Wardell, AP
Robert Dudley, chief executive of oil company TNK-BP, said Wednesday that Russia's oil production has likely reached its peak and is now headed for a slow decline, due in part to lack of investment.

... "There isn't going to be a precipitous decline. It's very mature oil fields and there'll probably be a gentle decline as we move on," Dudley told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Oil and Money conference in London.
(29 October 2008)




IEA's Tanaka: ‘The Low Energy Price Age Is Over’

James Kanter, Green Inc., New York Times
... . The picture now is much bleaker for clean energy, and concern is widespread among business leaders who are facing diminishing demand for environmentally friendly hardware and services.

That should make one of the chief messages to emerge from the annual Oil & Money Conference in London this week – high-cost oil is here to stay – a source of optimism for the clean energy sector.

Despite the sharp dip in the price of a barrel in recent months, “the low energy price age is over,” said Nobuo Tanaka, the executive director of the International Energy Agency. He said demand was likely to remain steady from parts of the world like China and India, and that supply may not catch up with demand once any recession had run its course.

Low oil prices could mean less investment in infrastructure, undermining future oil production.
(30 October 2008)




Sleepless in Tehran

Thomas Friedman, New York Times
... Have you seen the reports that Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is suffering from exhaustion? It’s probably because he is not sleeping at night. I know why. Watching oil prices fall from $147 a barrel to $57 is not like counting sheep. It’s the kind of thing that gives an Iranian autocrat bad dreams.

After all, it was the collapse of global oil prices in the early 1990s that brought down the Soviet Union. And Iran today is looking very Soviet to me.

As Vladimir Mau, president of Russia’s Academy of National Economy, pointed out to me, it was the long period of high oil prices followed by sharply lower oil prices that killed the Soviet Union. The spike in oil prices in the 1970s deluded the Kremlin into overextending subsidies at home and invading Afghanistan abroad — and then the collapse in prices in the ‘80s helped bring down that overextended empire.

(Incidentally, this was exactly what happened to the shah of Iran: 1) Sudden surge in oil prices. 2) Delusions of grandeur. 3) Sudden contraction of oil prices. 4) Dramatic downfall. 5) You’re toast.)

Under Ahmadinejad, Iran’s mullahs have gone on a domestic subsidy binge — using oil money to cushion the prices of food, gasoline, mortgages and to create jobs — to buy off the Iranian people. But the one thing Ahmadinejad couldn’t buy was real economic growth.
(28 October 2008)

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