The ASPO Conference -First Morning

Cork, so the Deputy Lord Mayor told us, is the port that the Titanic sailed from. It is also the place that took delivery of 57 Steinways for its new school of music, and so it was appropriate that we were entertained with song and dance this evening. It should have been a celebration.

As Dr. James Schlesinger, the first Secretary of Energy, said in his Opening Address, the battle is over, Peak Oil is now accepted as inevitable, and the debate only becomes as to when. We have “won” and need to learn to take Yes! as an answer. He spoke mainly of three things – the arrival of the Peak and the recognition that is starting to grow, and to mean that we are no longer lone voices crying in the Wilderness. Trade and government publications are already acceding with back-door concessions that we are facing a moment of truth. He paid tribute to Colin Campbell’s dictum that “before you produce it, you have to develop it”, and reminded us of the gap in matching discoveries as the old fields die out. Having been there, he told of the oil industry laughing when President Carter discussed renewable energy back in 1979. Back then “conservation was not the American way, production was the American way.” But now, to sustain production we need to find 4 or 5 fields the size of all those in Saudi Arabia. It is not going to happen, but before we celebrate, remember that there are political and technical realities. And, as the day wore on, the mercilessness of the numbers began to be apparent.

This was his second theme, that people do not want to admit they were wrong. That we who were right are being shown to be so, but must be magnanimous in our victory lest we worsen the situation. Remember that the presence of the Peak does not drive action, and that action can only come through the acts of politicians. Politicians work for a public that expects that becoming independent of oil will lower the fuel and power bills. In the US there was a pledge made by President Nixon in 1973, that the country would be oil independent by 1980. By then oil imports were up 60%, and today they are three times the 1973 numbers. The first rule of a politician is to get elected, and the second rule is to get re-elected. (Cassandra’s and those asking for sacrifice rarely succeed at task 2). Putting this all together was the clear implication that, while we weren’t standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, that the job was not over, but rather must now move to a different phase.

This, his third theme, will require patience as we decide what to do. International fleets of cars cannot be replaced overnight and provide a necessary support leg to existing society. The internal combustion engine needs liquid fuel, and because memories of the last time we had a problem have faded, we need to hit the public over the head with a metaphorical 2X4 to get them to sense the size of the problem. While human ingenuity cannot be dismissed, it is very time consuming and some 15 -20 years will be required to get us where we need to be. While dismissing corn ethanol, he did seem impressed by cellulosic ethanol (and could have been influenced by Khosla on this). Yet at the moment this is all still a political game (if it were serious there would be no $0.50 duty on Brazilian ethanol). He sees the fight over Global Warming as a passion in Europe, but a transient phase in the US (partially because of the futility of action given Chinese coal use). And he pointed to Senator Reid as a reason that more immediate steps to mitigate the crisis are not being taken. He did see the next Congress passing “cap and trade” legislation, though with enough loopholes (as in Europe) to give it little value.
And he worries about the vulnerability of the oil supplies that travel on the high seas.

Ray Leonard was next, and talked mainly about the FSU in the context of the 2006 Hedberg Conference. The rule for that is that you are only invited if you present, it is invitation only, and attendees cover the waterfront. With that background he was not kind to the USGS survey reports on remaining reserves. In contrast to such rosy predictions he suggested (from that conf), that the real numbers would be on the order of Western Siberia 8 billion barrels (bbo), relative to USGS 55 bbo; Niger Delta 18 bbo, relative to 40 USGS; S.W. Africa 15 vs 30; Caspian 10 vs 20; Gulf of Mexico 18 vs 42 bbo; Brazil 7 vs 39, and KSA 60 rather than 136 bbo. The revised total was 250 bbo waiting discovery, rather than 700 bbo.

Looking at Western Siberia he noted that the first 100 fields discovered averaged 100 bbo; the second 100 averaged 40 bbo; the third 100 averaged 10; the fourth 4; and the fifth 2 bbo. Optimistic claims to reverse this trend lack credibility. The change to FSU from SU allowed a recalculation of reserves, but that bite of the apple can only be taken once. Some reserve growth is legitimate and he felt that particularly for the FSU and ME there will be more growth (to a total of 490 bbo) if the money is properly spent.

Technology to enhance production depends on how much it costs. For example if the baseline is 1, then discovery costs are 1.2 times that base, to optimize production (infield drilling etc) will be at 1.8 times the base cost, and EOR and tertiary recovery will run 4.7 times base cost. So that if deep offshore is at $20 boe base cost, then tertiary recovery will cost $95 a barrel, and we ain’t there yet. He thinks that tertiary will add 10% to field production (for Siberia moving it from 35% to 45%). It is this type of gain that makes him predict that Russia will sustain current production for at least another decade.

He was deeply cynical about unconventional oil (Venezuelan heavy crude and the Canadian oil sands). He anticipates only around 2.5 mdb from Canada by 2015, with lots of unexpected costs and issues (though many have been discussed here and in TOD Canada). Venezuela might hold current Orinoco production (at around 800,000 bd) but won’t have the political ability and will to increase this. Putting this all together he thinks that the world will run at capacity for some 1 to 5 years, and that this will be at a plateau of 95 to 100 mbdoe. It will occur, however, in a very high price environment. To date we are only in a high price environment.

He was followed by Mike Rogers of PFC Energy, who have recently completed a supply forecast. It has three messages:

Oil prices will remain high, or higher.
There will be little to no growth in exports, outside of the FSU.
There will be 3 barrels produced for every barrel found.

Basically by 2010 he feels that non-OPEC will have peaked, and be starting to decline, and that the only growth in OPEC will be from heavy oil and NGL. For this he sees OPEC giving 33-36 mbdoe in 2010; 37-55 in the 2015 timeframe; 50 mbd by 2020.

Looking at production data the records seem to indicate that when fields are around 54% depleted then production begins to significantly decline (though there is a range). On average for non-OPEC, non-FSU the combined producing countries are seeing a decline of around 5-7% that will start to have a significant impact after 2009.

In the former Soviet Union there is a possibility to achieve 13 – 16 mbdoe by 2015. However depletion is growing and though there are 11 new fields to come on stream in Russia the peak there may be reached in 2012 when, if all goes well, the country might achieve 11 mbdoe. But then it falls off. Azerbaijan may get up to 1.2 mbdo, and Khazakstan may reach 2.1 mbdoe, though dates are slipping and production may have a number of complications. Combining the three gives the FSU peak in 2015 but it is expected to decline significantly thereafter.

He was more optimistic that Ray on Unconventional, thinking that the Canadians might be able to get up to 4.8 mbdoe in Alberta by 2015, with an ultimate peak of 7.5 mbdoe.

Turning to OPEC Qatar has lots of NGL but is imposing a moratorium until they can decide how to spend the money. Outside of that there has been a disappointing history of exploration, with the result that many fields are getting up to 60% produced, so that the region combined may reach there in a couple of decades.

When all this comes together his feeling was that the OOPS moment will come in 2014 at less than 100 mbdoe.

After a break Pierre-Rene Bauquis talked on the role of nuclear and gas (he was initially going to talk about natural gas supplies). He sees a non-OPEC peak of 60 mbdoe and possibly an OPEC peak of 40 mbdoe, though he thinks the latter unlikely. Oil companies have largely backed out of nuclear, although it has potential not only for general use, but also for specific field uses. Particularly he saw this role for helping with heavy oil. It will also help in production of hydrogen, which will become more viable closer to 2020, as oil prices head over $200. Its use will probably, however, be chemical rather than as a transport fuel, since there will still be more viable alternatives. By 2100 the energy for transportation will come 30% from oil and gas, 60% from nuclear power, and 10% from other renewables.

The first presenters were then joined by 3 more panelists for a discussion. Jim Buckee gave an operator’s perspective and felt that the commentators were too optimistic given the shortage of labor, skilled engineers and equipment. He already faces decline problems every day in his work, but while it is now controlled, when it reaches 7% then there will be another OOPS moment. Oil wells decline exponentially, gas wells go faster, but for many fields post peak, this can reach over 11% pa.

Chris Skrebowski noted that this has been the longest period that world production has effectively sat on a plateau, across a range of possible producers. For the next 6.5 years the die is already close to being cast on production schedules and thus in his Megaprojects lists he can predict production out to 2014. He used 4% for depletion (the industry used to be able to hold 3%) Working these numbers, and allocating for internal consumption, he sees that we have two good years left, then by 2011 we will be post peak and OOPS.

Eddie Walshe noted that 40% of hydrocarbon fuels are natural gas, which still has lots of reserves, but in Russia, Iran and Qatar. With this constricted supply prudence would suggest that alternate sources be developed, but it should be remembered that power companies such as Centrica don’t have the resources for a nuclear or coal fired power plant.

Finally in the morning session Gareth Roberts, who does gas-injection EOR felt that the 35-45% increase that had been mentioned is too low, and with proper EOR it can add 20% to field production. However the time frame for this to have an effect will be post-peak. Part of the problem is that the industry is still costing projects anticipating $40 oil, and thus killing projects that are viable at today’s $80 figures. It gives an EROI of 4-5:1 in fields that may be down to 3:1 EROI with conventional production. Orinoco uses 12% of produced energy for production, while SAGD requires 25-30%.

Natural gas is harder to predict since it can move through rock faster, but the panel thought that a peak 10 years after that for oil was the right ballpark.

It was then time for lunch (and so a break since I will now head bedwards).

To be continued.

(Apologies to the speakers for inaccuracies and faults in transcription, this is only meant to give a flavor of the contents of the talks, and I would recommend getting the CD, when it comes out. )

Fantastic! Wish I could have been there...

There were some areas not fully explored. There was an onshore successful wildcat oil discovery this summer in southern Egypt. There was a two billion barrel oil field discovered by Chevron in Kazakhstan recently. The eastern Pacific shelf of Russia might have some potential. There is much potential around the rim of the Carribean and GOM basin that cannot be fully exploited, not because there is no oil, but because there were not enough rigs. West Africa is growing in reserves, oil was discovered in Ghana this year. They have not begun drilling Antarctica.

They have not begun drilling Antarctica.

You left out the moon and the planets.


Does Titan count as exploration with it sea of methane? Or, is it in the proven reserve category?

Bob Ebersole

The point is not that finding oil stops, but that we are finding less than a third of the amount that is being produced each year. My only question to the panel related to depletion rates (I think that using 4% when you have switched to horizontal wells is a bit optimistic) and it is in this inability to develop enough reserves that leads us into trouble.

Thank you for the vicarious front row seat.
What they seem to be saying, like Al Gore's line is:
"The debate is over. PO is real and is now."

I hear Gore is putting together a sequel:
Now that the debate is over, what is out next step?


Peak oil doesn't mean the end of oil discovery or production. But it does mean that the largest, cheap to produce reservoirs have been discovered and the oil that is left to produce is more expensive and often less desireable because of heavy gravity (its thick and doesn't flow well) or the presence of sulfur or heavy metal contaminents that make the oil more costly to refine, so it was passed by when it was discovered in the past. and the large discoveries that are left tend to be in areas that are difficult to produce. You mentioned a 2 billion barrel field in Kazakstan, that's north of Afganistan and with no seacoast, so its going to have to have a transnational pipeline constructed to get to a port, or moved in railcars. The closest likely refining point is China, if a pipeline can be built across Mongolia to reach it, or a pipeline to the Black Sea. You mentioned no exploration in Antartica-there are no people living on the whole continent, the exploration and development cost will be phenominal.

Oil will never completely run out. Onshore fields in inexpensive production areas will ooze oil at a slow rate forever. The Bradford field in North-eastern Pennsylvania and northwestern New York has been producing since the 1870's, and Texas's oldest field, Corsicana also still produces some oil. The pumping units are on timers, and when the casing fills up with oil the pump comes on and pumps out a barrel or so. But the rock lacks pressure to move the oil through the rock and into the well very quickly. But, a big company can't make money on production like that, they have too much overhead. They need high volume production to justify their labor, and much of the high volume production is gone.
Bob Ebersole

Chevron in Kazakhstan ?? Sounds like another black mud deposit. The Kazakh's wont part with that easily. Wildcat discovery in Eygpt ? I think that was just water that smelled like kerosene.

HO Thank you for the summary. For the last year I have been reading this site vorociously. Kudos to everyone's hard work; it has been immensely appreciated.
The content of the conference is giving me shivers..I'm glad I'm only reading it second hand.


Thanks for the great summary. I look forward to subsequent ones.

For anyone that cannot attend the conference in Cork, there is an ASPO conference in Houston Oct. 17-20. There will be many luminaries there and a speaker lineup (almost) as good as the Cork conference. More info can be found at

This is a great summary - looking forward to more!

Piccolo - Interesting comment on the speaker lineup. I think the lineup for ASPO-USA is different and more extensive (given the number of activities and sessions) but I would not want to get into comparisons.

I wish all those thinking we will get to 100M/d would indicate where the barrels are coming from... Crhis does say where, and thinks we have 'two good years left', which I assume means higher production, but otoh this year was one that he thought would be a good year, and it is less than last. IMO the problem is that in the past a given amount of infrastructure, eg rigs, would produce so many b/d, nowadays we are developing much smaller fields, the wells produce less and for less time, but the piping, rig and other infrastructure requirements remain high so production/unit infrastructure (excluding ships) crashes. We simply don't have enough rigs to produce from the new small fields, so projects are invariably late, usefully ameliorating the post peak decline but bringing forward the peak itself. Probably best scenario possible.

Meanwhile opec not looking to expand production... Quite a few are expecting peak at 100M/d or above, I doubt we will ever exceed 2005 c+c.

jkissing, you hit the nail on the head.

In a perfect world, with perfect infrastructure, we could expect numbers similar on a timeline to whats being discussed at the ASPO conference.

But as you all know this isn't a perfect world. Fields don't behave the way they should on paper; pipelines break; national oil companies damage their fields; refinery fires and explosions happen. you name it, it will happen in this industry.

The infrastructure is old. The oil isn't getting sweeter. Nothing is getting easier. I take whatever number the general consensus is from ASPO and substract 3-5 years because we do not live in a perfect world, and never will.

I shudder when I think of when 3-5 years before the consensus is. 2014? 2011? We may very likely be in no man's land already, and the way international actors are behaving, probably are.

Good luck to everyone.

They simply forget to calculate Murphy's law into account.

They don't understand that things are getting harder and not easier.

I also find some thoughts presented as staggering:

From Mike Rogers

Basically by 2010 he feels that non-OPEC will have peaked, and be starting to decline, and that the only growth in OPEC will be from heavy oil and NGL. For this he sees OPEC giving 33-36 mbdoe in 2010; 37-55 in the 2015 timeframe; 50 mbd by 2020.

50mbd. Amazing. So they will only peak then. Apart from Iraq and Angola, I can't see any growth happening. Right now, OPEC is struggling to meet 30mbd, and this guy figures 50, just after 13 more years of oil depletion? Right.

I'll be more apologizing in the unconventional, because that sector may grow above expectations from new technologies and stuff. But, being realistic, I'd prefer a more conservative approach, and if I'd be wrong, that would be like a kind of bonus.

From Pierre-Rene Bauquis, I find this kind of "predictions" amazing:

By 2100 the energy for transportation will come 30% from oil and gas, 60% from nuclear power, and 10% from other renewables.

Where do these people come from? They ought to know that a "prediction" of a century span is not a prediction, but rather a program, with no doubt at all, a very personal one. Many things can happen and predicting at this level is bullshit. I could even say:

    By 2100 the energy for transportation will come 30% from renewables, 60% from nuclear power, and 10% from oil and gas.


    By 2100 the energy for transportation will come 30% from nuclear power, 60% from renewables, and 10% from oil and gas.

I'd be exactly as precise.

overall I agree with everything else, being the point in case that Murphy's law should be accounted for, as Jim Buckee noted:

He already faces decline problems every day in his work, but while it is now controlled, when it reaches 7% then there will be another OOPS moment. Oil wells decline exponentially, gas wells go faster, but for many fields post peak, this can reach over 11% pa.

Is this problem really accounted for?

Thank you very much for the summary.

If I may make one very small suggestion, could you please bold the names of people in future posts? It would make skimming, or finding a particular snippet on a re-visit, a bit easier.

I usually also reference the speakers, but it was 2 am and the program is a bit tighter than other conferences (plus I have other TODers to chat with) so these are a bit more rushed than usual. Depending on how tonight goes I may be able to go back and fix it - but I am already half a day behind.

I wonder if Schlesinger has changed his view on Global Warming?

From Senate Hearings, 2003
Senator Inhofe. All right. Let's see. Dr. Mann, since you have characterized your colleagues there in several different ways as nonsense, illegitimate, and inexperienced, let me ask you if you would use the same characterization of another person that I quoted on the floor yesterday. I would like to call your attention to the recent op/ed in the Washington Post by Dr. James Schlesinger, who was Energy Secretary under President Carter. In it, he wrote, "There is an idea among the public that the science is settled. That remains far from the truth." He has also acknowledged the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age. Do you question the scientific integrity of Dr. Schlesinger?

Dr. Mann. I do not think I have questioned scientific integrity. I have questioned scientific expertise in the case of Drs. Willie Soon and David Legates with regard to issues of paleoclimate. As far as Schlesinger is concerned, I am not familiar with any peer-reviewed work that he has submitted to the scientific literature, so I would not be able to evaluate his comments in a similar way. If I could clarify one...

Senator Inhofe. Okay. Well, you can't because there isn't time. I am going to stay within my time frame and I want to get to questions so others will have plenty of opportunity to respond to questions I am sure.

Schlesinger and Global Warming and Techno Optimism

..He sees the fight over Global Warming as a passion in Europe, but a transient phase in the US......

I find these views expressed by Schlesinger about Global Warming very worrying, mainly because he is such a well known figure and people will unfortunately listen to him. He seems to be basically dismissing it and implying that Peak Oil is more important. It seems quite clear that he is not able to get his head around these two major issues and can only manage one, so he dismisses the other.

And yet in the meantime, we have an acceleration of the melting of the Arctic sea ice far quicker than any scientist dared suggest and we also have J. Hanson getting really concerned that we are going to push all the way into the tipping zone and even past it.

I sense that all these optimistic figures being spouted out at the conference so far showing higher production and a very long plateau rather than a peak are part of a message that is saying. Hey we will have more time than we thought and it will give technology a chance to develop and get us through ...and so we can largely continue as we are except for some peripheral changes. The trouble with this rosy picture is that Global Warming is lurking there as an even graver threat, so the solution (as usual) is simply to dismiss and thereby ultimately deny it in order for the currently presented scenario to have credibility.

Msg to Heading Out: If you are talking to Schlesinger again, maybe you would ask him directly what he thinks of J. Hanson's warning that we could be hitting the point of no return (for the climate) within a decade.

I suspect though in practice from his experience of politics, he actually knows how thoroughly corporations are in control of the political and economic agenda and how all the forces of law and order are ultimately deployed for their benefit and thus he knows there is little chance of them changing.

Schlesinger vs. Jay Hanson of fame? Now there's a talk I would really want to see ring-side! But, of course, you meant James Hansen the climatologist. Not quite as exciting, but it would still be interesting.


No, it is Schlesinger vs. James Hansen, the (famous) climate scientist. In fact with regard to Hansen, I was referring indirectly to his recent paper: Climate Change and Trace Gases published 18th May 2007 in Phil Trans of Royal Society. It is widely available, for example here. (it is also available from the Royal Society)

In it he explicitly states in the opening abstract and I must stress at odds to Schlesinger who is no climate expert, but yet makes grand political statements about it

Paleoclimate data show that the Earth's climate is remarkably sensitive to global forcings. Positive feedbacks predominate. This allows the entire planet to be whipsawed between climate states. One feedback, the "albedo flip" property of water substance, provides a powerful trigger mechanism. A climate forcing that "flips" the albedo of a sufficient portion of an ice sheet can spark a cataclysm. Ice sheet and ocean inertia provides only moderate delay to ice sheet disintegration and a burst of added global warming. Recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures.....

And yet as of this month (Sept 07), the Sea Ice cover in the Arctic has reached it's lowest level since records began and these new low levels come as a complete surprise because they were not expected for many years yet. This for example is reported here. Arctic Sea Ice Extent Hits Record Low

And more details here.

It seems that he can't mentally cope with more than 1 big global problem at a time.

Jim Buckee [said that] Oil wells decline exponentially, gas wells go faster, but for many fields post peak, this can reach over 11% pa.

I hesitate to gainsay Jim Buckee (he's a lot richer than me), but are you sure that's what he said? Because on the exponential - hyperbolic - harmonic decline continuum, exponential is fastest, and dry gas wells producing against constant backpressure (simplest theoretical case) decline exponentially. I'm sure none of this made any real difference to his overall message, though.

100 reservoir geek points to the first person who provides a coherent explanation of what "fastest" means in this context. Hint: it doesn't mean largest percentage decline per year, or month, or other fixed period of time. Extra points for the corresponding amusing SPE author citation.

It's what I wrote down - not to say that I didn't misunderstand something. He also commented that he thought that Hubbert Linearization was a predator:prey effect, rather than a field effect. The speeches were fairly fast, and as you can see had a fair amont of detail so between writing, reading and understanding I may have missed something.

My take on this quotation (if it is indeed an exact quote) is that he was using "exponentially" in a general sense, not a technical sense.

To paraphrase, I'm guessing he meant "Oil wells can decline quickly, and gas wells even faster."

Are you referring to the second derivative of the function which describes the decline curve being positive and maximized? Is that what you mean by "fastest" or rather "accelerating"?

My take on this quotation (if it is indeed an exact quote) is that he was using "exponentially" in a general sense, not a technical sense.

Jim Buckee was BP's Chief RE about 20 years ago, and even now I would be surprised to hear him use the word exponential in its popular but incorrect sense.

Are you referring to the second derivative of the function which describes the decline curve being positive and maximized?

Simply put, if you plot a production profile on semilog axes (linear in time, logarithmic in flowrate), pure exponential decline will give a straight line. Most real-world decline curves tend to flatten when plotted on semilog axes, i.e. the apparent annual percentage decline rate decreases over time.

Exponential decline is an end-member of the range of physically realizable decline styles, i.e. if you estimate an annual (or monthly) exponential decline rate from early production data, you will generally find later on that the flowrate is higher than you expected. The closest you get to exponential decline in practice is something like a closed (no aquifer) undersaturated (no free gas underground) oil reservoir producing against a fixed bottom-hole pressure.

This is a purely empirical observation, but Fetkovitch, Fetkovitch and Fetkovitch (father and two sons, I think) attempted to come up with a semi-mechanistic explanation in SPE paper 28628 (which contains some killer typos).

Hi Heading Out,

I really appreciate your firsthand take on things - thanks for doing this.

I second that, thanks a million.

I must add the cliche 'Now is the first day of the rest of our lives'
Now we start to re-construct our energy basis and attitudes to conservation.
Now we start to invest in alternative energies.
Now we start to worry how we can feed the world rather than feed the SUV.


Re: That we who were right are being shown to be so, but must be magnanimous in our victory lest we worsen the situation

I'll remember to be generous, but there will be a few exceptions. For example, Dan Yergin can come over to my house and kiss my ...

When the peak has occurred and everybody acknowledges it, that is the moment, as we all know, when the real fun begins.

Dave: The question is exactly how many years separate the two events: 1. peak oil (2005) and 2. "everyone" acknowledging it (20??).

There are still people who deny the holocaust and still others that believe Hitler was right.

So you'll never get to that point.

I'll be pretty confident when the major politicians will eager to answer what will they do to address peak oil in the campaigns.

What did Lord Oxburgh say ?

I will be attending lunch speech by Shell USA President John Hofmeister today and it would be interesting to quote/paraphrase him.

Best Hopes,


Hi, Alan:
He didn't speak until the keynote on the second morning and it has been fairly hectic all day, (even a bit of passion) so it will take me a while to post my notes. His talk was very broad, but he ducked comment on Shell policies - such as why they dropped solar.

John Hofmeister, President of Shell USA, said that they sold their silicon solar PV business so that they could concentrate on thin film solar PV.

Otherwise, most of the speech was about National Petroleum Council reports fluffed out, more later.


Schlesinger's comment "action can only come through the acts of politicians" is so utterly wrong as to be laughable. It would be more correct to say that screwing things up is most often done through the acts of politicians.

I second RedRiver....and the most painful thing to see is that you seem to be the first one to even notice the, how should we say politely, "overreach" of that comment.

Action can come in the oil fields, in the tar sands, in the heavy oil fields, the natural gas fields, in the shops and labs of the world. The governments can lend support and help provide some structure to developments though tax and incentive policy, but the politicians and the government is NOT where the action is.


From today's Irish Examiner paper:

OIL is set to reach $100 a barrel by the end of next year, with production set to peak as early as 2015, a conference on the subject was told yesterday.

Chief economist at CIBC World Markets Jeff Rubin made the comments at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas conference in Cork yesterday, where world renowned experts in oil supply and demand met to discuss the future of the commodity.

Mr Rubin predicts that the price of oil will rocket in the next 12 months as consumption increases and supply diminishes.

Anybody know what happened with A.M. Samsam Bakhtiari @ Florence Convegno (March, 2007) and why he is not at Aspo, in Cork now?


"As Dr. James Schlesinger, the first Secretary of Energy, said in his Opening Address, the battle is over, Peak Oil is now accepted as inevitable, and the debate only becomes as to when."

"the battle is over"?!?!?!?!? The people who say that it'll peak in 2030 are telling me the same story the cornucopians were telling me 2 years ago.

Chris Skrebowski noted that this has been the longest period that world production has effectively sat on a plateau

Current plateau (crude and condensate) 2 years 3 months.
Plateau in early 1990s : 4 years 9 months (March 1990-December 1995) See graph at Khebab's website:

"Chris Skrebowski ... sees that we have two good years left, then by 2011 we will be post peak and OOPS."

When reality-based people like Skrebowski and Campbell keep forecasting peak at 2010-2011 in the face of production stubbornly staying below its May 2005 peak, I increasingly feel they are asking me to close my eyes and just have faith.

And only the LORD can ask that.

Heading Out, thank you.

I think Colin's dictum goes more like: "Before you produce it, you must find (discover) it". It's obvious in retrospect, but its simplicity is belied by its profundity (as Schlesinger said to us, on Monday). This leads to his (and Jean Lahererre's) well-known graphs showing (smoothed) rates of discovery superimposed on subsequent rates of production. You can slide the curves together in time, subtracting a lag of 20 to 40 years, to show how they both have a similar rise, peak, and subsequent decline.

Mathematically, Colin's simple statement is interpreted to mean that the area under the curve of production can never exceed the area under the curve of discovery. Since global discovery peaked in the 1960s, the handwriting on the wall is very clear.

- Dick Lawrence