Sixth Annual ASPO Conference – Cork, Ireland

The sixth annual international conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) takes place in Cork, Ireland over Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th September 2007.

The title, “Time to React”, was chosen because it resonates on two levels, the most obvious is designed to target the mainstream public for whom the concept is still quite new and generally poorly understood. The second is for the more seasoned student of Peak Oil where the focus of attention is moving from trying to predict when peak might occur to the realisation that the range of possible dates is finite and even the most optimistic forecasts suggest that our modern society faces a truly significant challenge in dealing with the phenomenon of Peak Oil.

It is also recognised that Peak Oil will occur within the context of the equally grave challenge we face from the threat of Global Warming. As Global Warming moves into mainstream consciousness we will explore the relationship between these two critical challenges.

The Conference will feature speakers who are leaders in the industry, with Dr. James Schlesinger (former US Secretary of Energy); Lord Ron Oxburgh (former Chairman of Shell UK); Herman Franssen (former Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency); and Eddie O’Connor (Chief Executive of Airtricity) already confirmed. The Conference will be attended by over 500 delegates from across the globe.

Registration is available here:

Below the fold, the provisional programme.

Speaker Profiles

Day 1

09:00 Opening Welcome to ASPO6 ASPO Ireland
09:10 Keynote Energy Security Dr. James Schlesinger
Session 1
Supply: The Industry's Perspective
09:50   Session Chair's Introduction Jeremy Gilbert
09:55 Presentation World Oil Reserves and Future Production Potential Ray Leonard
10:25 Presentation Upstream Constraints Mike Rodgers
10:55 Break    
11:15 Presentation Natural Gas Pierre-Rene Bauquis
11:45 Panel Discussion Eddie Walshe
Chris Skrebowski
James Buckee
Gareth Roberts 
12:45 Lunch    
Session 2
Demand: The Economics
13:55   Session Chair's Introduction  
14:00 Presentation Global Energy Demand Trends Herman Franssen
14:30 Presentation China Syndrome Prof. Xiongqi Pang
15:00 Break    
15:20 Presentation Market Outlook Jeff Rubin
15:50 Panel Discussion Richard Douthwaite
Jim Barry
Carlos Rossi
David Fleming
16:50   Day 1 Wrap-up Prof. Kjell Aleklett

Day 2

9:00 Opening Welcome to Day 2 ASPO Ireland
9:05 Keynote 'Out of Oil, Into Hot Water'
Lord Ron Oxburgh
Session 3
Risk Management & Mitigation
9:45   Session Chair's Introduction Jeremy Leggett
9:50 Presentation Cuba's 'Special Period' Dr Alfredo Curbelo
10:20 Presentation The Nuclear Option Dr Michael Dittmar
10:50 Break    
11:10 Presentation A Framework for Supply and Demand on a Full Planet Nate Hagens
11:40 Panel Discussion Matt Dempsey
Mary Graham
Gerard O'Neill
Philip Walton
12:40 Lunch    
Session 4
Time to React?
13:45   Session Chair's Introduction Eddie Hobbs
13:50 Presentation A Local Government's Approach Debbie Cook
14:20 Presentation Transition Towns - catalysing responses to peak oil Rob Hopkins
14:50 Break    
15:10 Presentation Sustainable Solutions Eddie O'Connor
15:40 Panel Discussion Minister Micheál Martin TD
Michael Meacher MP
Minister Eamon Ryan TD
The Rt. Hon. Edward Schreyer
16:40 Closing Remarks Ireland's Energy Future Minister Eamon Ryan TD
17:10   Conference Wrap-up ASPO Ireland

And not to forget a chance to meet many of The Oil Drum staff!

ASPO is a not-for-profit organisation founded by retired oil geologist Dr Colin Campbell, now living in Ireland, with national chapters around the world and the aim of advancing awareness and understanding of the subject of ‘Peak Oil’.

Hello TODers,

I expect this conference will be a huge success--Kudos to all! For the last ASPO-USA conference in Boston: I wrote early by snail-mail to the agent of George Clooney [star of "Syriana"] asking for George to please attend to drastically boost MSM focus.

My goal was to hopefully arouse the Peakoil Outreach curiosity of the unwashed masses by them pondering what Mr. Clooney was doing at such a meeting, then taking the next research step to Peakoil Awareness. Alas, no reply--> and regretably, no Curious George.

Therefore, FWIIW, I will once again snail-mail his agent again for the upcoming ASPO meetings. I would encourage other TODers to do the same if you can find the time. Thxs for any TODer support as thousand of letters might make a huge publicity difference. As we all know by the travails of Paris Hilton: publicity is oxygen to a movie star.

I assume the following info is still valid:
George Clooney
c/o Stan Rosenfield & Associates
2029 Century Park East - Suite 1190
Los Angeles, CA 90067

agency address
9830 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90212-1825


Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

I just found this additional info inside the previous link:
Agent: Bryan Lourd Creative Artists Agency 9830 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1825 Phone: 310-288-4545 Fax: 310-288-4800 Website:

To help save time, feel free to cut and paste the following message to snail-mail/email to George Clooney's agent:


Hello George Clooney,

I greatly enjoyed the fossil fuel/political film: 'Syriana'. Since you are aware of how critical petroleum is to global society, I would sincerely appreciate it if you could find the time to attend one of the upcoming ASPO Conferences:

1. The sixth annual international conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) takes place in Cork, Ireland over Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th September 2007.

2. 2007 Houston World Oil Conference
October 17-20, 2007 Houston, Texas

I am a forum member of the energy website: or acronym TOD. TOD has multi-thousands of members deeply concerned about fossil fuels, global warming, and the resulting political and societal ramifications. Your much appreciated attendence at an ASPO Conference would greatly leverage mass-media focus towards these huge concerns.

I am sure the ASPO organizers would gladly facilitate any concerns you might have regarding privacy vs publicity. Thank you for your best efforts.

TOD member [Your TOD posting name, and/or legal name here]

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I'm holding a PO conference. It's called "Peak Oil: Time to Run for Your Lives."

Hi Chimp,

Good one (:).

Q: To where?

Everybody just running around only uses up more energy.

The message is don't panic, but sometimes only half the message gets across

Your working hard to put food on your familly

Good question. There are a few corners of the world I think have half a shot of descending to only the first or second level of hell. Most will be at the seventh level. So most folks are just plain fiznucked. Eaven those of us prepping are probably plain fiznucked as well.

Los Angeles is one of the the worst of course, most cities are in similar albeit not quite as bad situations. Take a look:

The caption for the image should be something like "This won't end well."

Here in the pacific northwest,you can hope that something resembleing a free and decent society can come thru the bottleneck...then you get an estimated 6000 river rafters in the clackams river rec.area during the 4th and you see what passes for "normal"society.I went back up to my place and hid.2 miles away even the cops stayed away.

Eugene might be a candidate for only the second level of hell.

That is assumming a full blown nuclear attack takes out most of the would be refugees who would head over the border with Ca:

I'd put the risk of starvation, and lack of clean water higher than nuclear attack.
A few illustrations.
The farmers/truckers refinery blockades of 2000 emptied supermarket shelves and petrol station pumps within 5 days.
Further the UKs gas storage is optimistically stated at 10days. The last few winters the UK government has been ready to introduce gas cuts to industry, to keep houses warm. Thankfully there hasn't been a 'winter' to speak of. Otherwise the life support system would have been progressively shutdown-
I used to work for ICI in one of their larger chemical works, this process relied on extracting brine,(the salt caverns left are used for the UKs meagre gas storage) and electrolysing for Chlorine (, caustic, hydrogen etc.) for drinking water sterilisation ( the other use of the brine was gas fired evaporation for table salt production). Just the electrolysis plant, which supplied the majority of UK chlorine demand took 1% of the UK's electricity supply, and a substantial fraction of the gas.
Russia's regular gas cuts, to former Soviet controlled states, have illustrated that the likes of the UK are defenceless, even with 4 nuclear submarines patrolling the oceans. Nuclear weapons are impotent in such circumstances.

Finding a place not reliant on the industrial life-support system, and where affluent newcommers can be self sufficient, and will not be attacked is the tricky bit.
I have a retreat in Brittany, with provisions being made, food store, ground water heating, crops etc. The Celtic locals are a fairly closed community and some are less than welcoming to newcommers, even from other parts of France, never mind English etrangers (foreigners). However, its still ostensibly a modest small farm market community, which could readily revert to their Breton horse drawn plough tradition.
Developing a post peak support community is crucial. Perhaps, chances would be enhanced if like minded people here could initiate communes with the appropriate provisions for what is to come.


The Celtic locals are a fairly closed community and some are less than welcoming to newcommers, even from other parts of France,

That is usually the case no matter where one goes and is a reason for either not going there or taking the time to gradually ease in. In any community, other than the in flux suburb, figure on 5 to 8 years before you get anywhere close to becoming moss on the rock, also if possible have your kids attend, at least, the high school.

About people getting together, that can be a hard one, there is a co-op group here that has spent the last 9 years trying to get their act together, they have the land, garden, fruit trees and debt. They know that hammers and nails exist but haven't quite figured what to do with them, more interested in refinancing I guess ...

Here is a newly formed chat site to discuss survival in turbulent times.

Hey Chimp come on over and add your two cents, hear?

Settling into the local community is a long term project. We did have our son in the local primary initially, which helped, but finances dictated working in an urban area and only returning to the retreat for working holidays: There is
a conundrum to negotiate with all such rural retreats. High paying jobs (in the oil and gas industry or whatever) aren't thick on the ground in Brittany. We can prepare for establishment to some extent with language lessons, French school for children etc,and keeping in with neighbours when there. However the timing of a full time move is the risky element, I'm betting on a years time. Its A race to put sufficient finances in place for greenhouses, passive heating, solar thermal etc prior to capital collapse and debilitating supply shortfalls, bearing in mind the need for full establishment of productive garden and community relations.


Already have a very active forum:

best of luck with yours, the net is pretty crowded with peak oil forums at this point.


I have had some recent discussions with some scientists within the federal government, who have formed an informal Peak Oil group. They have had no luck in trying to get higher ups to pay any attention to Peak Oil. They are leaning toward your view of the future. When they contemplated my Export Land Model (ELM), one of them said that you could have heard a pin drop as they thought about the ramifications.

I don't know if you saw my recent comments on the ELM, but if we assume peak production and peak exports from Export Land, with consumption equal to 50% of production, and assume a 5% production decline rate and 2.5% rate of increase in consumption, Export Land--after hitting peak exports--would only export 10% of remaining production.

My guesstimate right now (the HL based models aren't done yet) is that only about 25% or so of remaining production in the top 10 net oil exporting countries will be exported.

Export Land Model:

Hello WT,

I expect the same shocked, contemplative, silent lull when you & Khebab present the ELM at the ASPO/USA Houston Conference. Combined with Stuart Staniford's speech, with credit to Euan Mearns/Fractional Flow, presenting on KSA's Ghawar: I think TOD will rock the house.

When I check the ASPO/USA conf. website: I don't see you listed as a speaker. Are you just going to do an off-podium 'tech breakout session' speech & display? Thxs for any reply.

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention that another TopTODer, Nate Hagens, will be internationally banging the oildrum first in ASPO/Ireland across the pond in Cork.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Regarding ASPO-USA, I think that they may be waiting to see the paper (I am not a headline speaker). I think that I am penciled in for 20 minutes or so, some time around the IEA chief economist. We did have some tense discussions regarding the HL method which turned out to be largely a misunderstanding.

In any case, I told the guys up front that, IMO, declining net export capacity will not be news by October, and so far events seem to be headed in that direction. There will however be a fierce debate as to "why" net export capacity is declining.

Hello WT,

Thxs for the reply. IMO, you are another TopTODer, so please keep up the good fight.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hi WT/Jeffrey,

Thanks and

re: "I have had some recent discussions with some scientists within the federal government, who have formed an informal Peak Oil group."

This seems a little bit promising.

Can we connect w. them?

I offered to make a formal presentation on net exports to their group, but the response was that the higher ups would never approve it.

Hi WT/Jeffrey,

Thanks and good for you.

A few questions, though...because, after all, we do need action (yes?). For a rather obvious example, a decent energy policy/strategy backed by a roll call of scientists, especially ones who have not spoken out before. This might be at least worth a try.

1) I thought this group was "informal"?

If so, does this mean they are looking into "peak" on their own? Thus free from constraints of having to account for how their time is spent (in fiscal terms)?

Freedom of assembly and all that.

If they are indeed, informal, then what's the problem? Can't they meet with you? (Or, don't they have enough pocket money to pay for travel or something?)

Or, don't they consider this important? Or, what? In other word, why do they "need" the approval of "higher ups"?

2) How about meeting here?

3) There are (apparently) on-going science-type consulting groups, such as the somewhat infamous Jason.

Supposedly, they are independent in terms of topic choice,work done on topics - and supposedly, lack of pressure re: results. Yes?

Is there any overlap between members of this "informal group" and any of these consulting groups?

4) In other words, when Chimp asks "are they doing any preps" - my Q is - how about "preps" on the somewhat larger scale? Alan's scale, or the ODP scale, for example. Or personally?

5) If the "higher ups" don't approve, then at least one has the experience of having done something (I won't say "all one could do")...just to pose a counter-argument.

The "higher ups" also presumably at some point have some stake in something that links them to the rest of humanity?

Or, is everyone w.a security clearance exempt, (like, they don't eat?) and being more highly educated makes one more exempt? (And excuse me while I either get off the soap box or cry.)

The "higher ups" wouldn't approve? How come?

Anyway, at least I'm curious about "informal" v. "needing approval" (apparently).


I am trying not to disclose (in a public forum), without their consent, which group they work for, given the very sensitive nature of their work.

Hi WT,Jeffrey,

Thanks for responding.

I actually didn't mean to fish for who participates in what. Of course, you want to respect people's privacy, as we all do.

It's more I was wondering what might prevent them from inviting you to talk further, as you'd mentioned. Or, rather, what it is about "higher ups" not approving that would be an obstacle. Especially given the gravity of the situation.

I'm glad people are contacting you. Hope it leads to something widely applicable and positive.

They are leaning toward your view of the future.

So they see energy shortages followed by terminator robots being deployed across the land followed by human-animal chimera super soldiers being deployed followed by a nuclear exchange followed by ass-raping Chinese pirates taking to the high seas?

(And that's all just before breakfast.)

Are any of them prepping?

From my days as a fed{c/105Radcon,DODFEMA} the ones who are are bright enough not to be discussing it.There exists no more political job in the world than fed science...and this administration is very very quick to cut the head off of anyone who rocks the boat.

Hi snuffy,

Hi, yes,'s always a liability, to having something (a life, the life of others) to lose.

re: "...very quick to cut the head off of anyone"

A counter-argument:

The heads will roll, one way or the other. Does anyone really believe he/she/they can be fully secure in the face of this?

And part of what one may lose is the feeling of belonging that comes with being elite, any kind of elite. (And nothing fosters eliteness quicker than secrecy, does it?) (Saying "I know, but I can't tell?")

A fundamental human need, belonging. A little different for men, perhaps, than for women, in general. Still, basic.

One of them was really interested in timing. I told him that, IMO, the net export crisis has started. It's just a question of how declining net export capacity is allocated--guns or dollars, or more likely some combination of both.

HI again WT,

Did you invite them over here?

Re: "guns or dollars"

Is anyone (of them) up for talking about anything else?

So they see energy shortages followed by terminator robots being deployed across the land followed by human-animal chimera super soldiers being deployed followed by a nuclear exchange followed by ass-raping Chinese pirates taking to the high seas?

I would doubt that Ass -raping Chinese Pirates are much of a novelty for them during this administration, but I would imagine the idea of human-animal chimera super soldiers would have them drooling.

BTW caught you on the radio, you sounded fine but cagey about where you plan to swing your hammock. Please continue to do so, in fact why not put it about that you are fixin to stay on your own home on the range. I think anyone moving out of their own well trodden areas ventures into darkness too deep for contemplation. That is the message I get from Willie lump lump, an itinerate gloomer and dipsomaniac ...and who better for the experientially founded advice for these days. Eh?

best of luck with yours, the net is pretty crowded with peak oil forums at this point.

Ah yes, there are many sites, but we are not merely a PO site we are a multifaceted 'doom does approach from many directions' site that, as well, does toe dances in sensible shoes. You should see us when we start Morris dancing about the joint. Remember it's for a complete cross section of your doomer/survivor needs.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007. Issue 3695. Page 5.
The Moscow Times: Alfa Report Sees Trouble Looming in Russian Oil Sector
By Anatoly Medetsky
Staff Writer

Alfa Bank warned on Monday that "production stagnation is unavoidable" at the country's oil fields and further downgraded its target prices for shares in most Russian oil companies.

The dramatic worsening in its outlook was the result of the government's reluctance to consider lowering taxes on oil firms and a higher proportion of water in the declining output, the bank said in a research report.

Alfa has led the way in cautioning investors about oil sector profits over the last six months, with other brokerages following suit in reducing expectations. . . .

. . . Alfa Bank first downgraded its projections in the sector in March, saying that oil majors were depleting existing fields while heavy taxes on the industry were preventing the development of new fields.

In Monday's report, the company described the situation as "substantially more dangerous" than it had suggested four months ago.

The increasing proportion of water in total output was a major source of concern, the bank's analysts wrote. This causes a quickening in the rate of natural production decline at most fields.

Ray Leonard is down as talking about oil supplies from Russia and the Middle East. He will in fact be talking about the conclusions rreached at last November's Hedberg conference.