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Al-Naimi Says Saudi Oil Output Below Target; Stockpiles to Fall

Christian Schmollinger and Shigeru Sato, Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil exporter, is producing less crude than its target and global stockpiles are likely to decline, according to Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.

The country is producing less than 8 million barrels of crude a day, al-Naimi told reporters today in Tokyo, where he is attending a meeting of Asian energy ministers. Stockpiles “will come down eventually,” he said.

U.S. stockpiles have climbed to the highest since September 1990 even as Saudi Arabia leads the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ efforts to implement a 4.2 million barrel a day reduction in oil output from the group’s September levels. The country is producing 7.79 million barrels a day, less than its target of 8.1 million barrels a day.
(25 April 2009)

Where Have All the Gold Mines Gone?

Brent Cook, Kitco
… The problem we are all having is that quality economic gold deposits are few and far between. The most obvious confirmation of this claim is that world gold production has been steadily declining since it peaked in 2001 in spite of a nearly US$600 rise in the gold price (fig. 1 below). This is counter to basic economics that would suggest a rising prices should bring on more production and indicates a more fundamental problem in the gold industry. To wit, we are mining more gold than we are putting into production in spite of an estimated $US18 billion in gold exploration expenditure over the past five years (CIBC and Metals Economic Group).

… Summarizing: given the declining global gold production, mining companies’ demand for reserve replacement and the acute dearth of new gold discoveries, there is no doubt that real economic discoveries will be exceptionally valuable. For the few of us still left sitting at the table in the exploration game the opportunity for stellar profits is the best it has probably ever been. Identifying the few successes however will require vigilant and constant technical assessment of geology and drill results, always with an eye to mine economics.
(23 April 2009)
EB contributor ML writes:
You could almost replace “gold” with “oil” and not realise you were not reading a peak oil article. Nice peaky production history figure too.

Energy in Latin America: US proposes “variable geometry”

Humberto Márquez, IPS
CARACAS – The United States will work on energy issues with the other countries of the Americas based on “a variable geometry,” allowing governments to choose to cooperate in some areas but not others, said Jeremy Martin, head of the energy programme at the Institute of the Americas at the University of California San Diego.

This “a la carte” approach would make it possible to work with Venezuela on the heavy crudes in its Orinoco Belt and with Brazil on ethanol, or with Mexico and Brazil on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, because the marriage of energy and climate change means Washington can no longer talk about one without the other, the U.S. expert said at a forum in Caracas.

At the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held Apr. 17 to 19 in Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. President Barack Obama called for “a new energy and climate partnership” in the hemisphere. According to Martin, this would be based on promoting efficiency, improving infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
(24 April 2009)

“Peak Summit” (TOD-ASPO) June 26-28 in Perugia, Italy

Ugo Bardi, ASPO-Italia
“Peak Summit,” a joint TOD-ASPO meeting to be held in Italy on June 26-28

Here is a chance to meet in person some of the people who are working at
the ASPO (association for the peak oil) and the TOD (The Oil Drum) sites. A
friendly and informal meeting that will be held in the beautiful site of
“Alcatraz University” in the hills near Perugia, Italy, this June 26-28.

Organized by Ugo Bardi (ASPO Italy and TOD) and Rembrandt Koppelaar
(ASPO-Nederlands and TOD) the meeting aims to bring together a group of
persons who, so far, have been talking to each other only through the web.
The meeting will deal with such issues as peak oil, mineral resources, new
sources of energy, climate change and the human response to all that. We
emphasize the free exchange of ideas, especially innovative ones. The
attendees include already a good number of well known experts from ASPO and

The meeting will be managed according to the “bar camp” rules, that is
there will not be a strict distinction between speakers and participants.
Everyone is invited to submit their contribution for a schedule of talks
and discussions that will be decided as the meeting unfolds.

Because of limited space, the meeting will be limited to a maximum of 50
attendees. At present (21 April 2009) there are still some places
available, so we are accepting applications. We ask a minuscule conference
fee (10 Euros) to cover some expenses plus the cost of room and board that
will be paid directly to the Alcatraz University for a total of 199 Euros
for three nights and all meals.

You can write to Ugo Bardi ([email protected]) or to Rembrandt Koppelaar
(contact at You will receive more details on transportation and
the schedule of the event. See also this link
(27 April 2009)

Aleklett talk: the peak oil view

Kjell Aleklett, Aleklett’s Energy Mix

On March 5th I was invited to give a lecture at University of Aberdeen. They have a new open lecture series called “Energy Controversies” (more about the lecture series ) and my visit in Aberdeen is discussed in my blog “AAPG President Scott Tinker and Peak Oil”.

The lecture was filmed and if you like to spend an hour listen to someone that speaks broken English you are welcome to Aberdeen and my lecture “Global Energy Resources: The Peak Oil View”. (You cannot see the laser pointer.)

(The slides will be available April 28)

(26 April 2009)
Kjell Aleklett is president of ASPO International.
UPDATE – the slides are now available at the original.