President Bush Questions Saudi Ability to Raise Oil Supply: The ISEOF/TOD Press Release

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<<< Forecasts of future world oil production by official organization like the IEA and the EIA assume OPEC

You might want to correct that double mention of EIA, I assume it's supposed to say IEA and CERA or something like that.

By the way, nice work on the site and analysis, it's refreshing to see this stuff finally hit the mainstream after a decade of seeing it coming, you guys have done a good job continuing the work started by sites like

I don't understand your comment. The organization in the United States is the Energy Information Administration, or EIA. The international organization, which is quite different and not affiliated is the International Energy Administration, or IEA.

The IEA is starting to question numbers of the USGS. It is headquartered in Paris. The EIA, headquartered in Washington DC, still seems pretty stuck in its ways.

So we intended IEA and EIA.

Whoops, sorry, dyslexia hit me, what can I say? Too early in the morning...

I think the correct grammar would be "organizations".

Filed under a new category, "Press Releases."

Note that this press release is currently missing the "press release" tag, and thus is not showing up at:

Thanks for all the great work you are doing.

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You know... this is the same politician that stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier and told us the Iraq War was a done deal. Same guy who told us the economy was toot-sweet about six weeks ago. Same guy who told us that climate was debatable. Same guy gave us ethanol as the foundation of strategic energy policy...

And now you want to make him the poster boy for Peak Oil?

Sorry for being dense, but I don't get it.

The ethanol based plan (especially if it's non-corn based) was miles ahead of the "hydrogen fuel initiative" that showed up in Bush's Jan. 2003 state of the union address. (Though that's obviously not saying much.)

It really makes me wonder where Washington (I count Congress in this too, since they seem to jump on the energy-flavor-of-the-month bandwagon way too easily) goes to find their science & energy advisers.

>>Sam Bodman, you're doing a heck of a job!<<

I like the use of quotes, but I don't think "According to" works all that well. Better to say "According to oildrum contributer xx..." or According to The Oil Drum's pseudonymous editor Prof. Goose..." so that it is a person saying it. You could designate a spokesperson/press person and attribute quotes to that person.


We are kind of stuck putting in some type of "According to " statements, because of the rules of PRWeb.

On the press release related to Heading Out's $100 Barrel post, we used the phrase "According to", because it was pretty clear that "Heading Out" wasn't a real name. I suppose we could also have said, "According to The Oil Drum's pseudonymous editor Heading Out". I don't think we could have said that more than once in the artcle though.

In this press release, we have one place where it says "According to Gail Tverberg, writing as Gail the Actuary of,". This phrase gets kind of long so we used "According to". We could also have switched to "According to Ms. Tverberg", but that starts sounding a little like is only a publisher, and may or may not agree with what Ms. Tverberg says.

PRWeb likes those using its service to put important sentences in quote marks. These sentences are then put in what I think of as a "Call Out" box at the top. The Call Out box switches between the various quoted sentences over time, to keep the press release looking new to search engines.

Humbly suggest you consider using "according to analysts at" in the future.

Hi Gail,

Thanks for your steady work - thank you all.

I second urbanize's humble suggestion.

It solves two gaps: the need for a specific individual, and the confusion (unintended) that appears with attribution to just plain "TOD", which is a *site* for "discussions about...".

Also, even smaller, more humble point - your current usage does come across (to me) as a monolithic unanimity. It seems to me this is not exactly 100% accurate (is it)? I don't know...urban's suggestion just "feels" like it fits better.

To compare, urbanize's version would be like saying: "...according to the editors of..."

Anyway, it's a fine point but it seems important (IMVHO).

Good suggestion. I think "According to analysts at TOD" gets the idea across better.

Sometimes it is hard to think of these things, when on the spot to make a "fix" that the editors at PRWeb will accept.

I think that works. We used to use something like "Laboratory scientists say..." at work. Appointing a press spokesperson would also be a help because editors' positions can be expressed through the spokesperson. Since you are a contributer, using your name is a good idea giving the most dramatic quote.


Personally, I only trust quotes that have a real name attached. A general term like "analysts" or "sources" could mean anything from the real deal to some rumors the reporter heard in the local bar. Anonymized web handle means nothing.

If you can't issue press releases without using web handles I wouldn't bother.

I know Heading Out's reputation, but to the end-user reading the repackaged press release "some guy on the internet says..." is a joke.

You have twice launched drive by ad hominem attacks on Khebab and me, in both cases leveling serious accusations. The latest one is in the original Bush/Saudi thread. Unlike Khebab and me, you don't provide an e-mail link. I would appreciate it if you would address the questions in the captioned post.

BTW, regarding the initial Saudi decline, the 2006 decline rate was -4.3%/year (EIA, C+C). The 2007 decline rate will probably be between -4.5%/year and -5%/year. The long term Texas decline rate was -4%/year.

Thanks for putting another great release together! May I make a humble request that you place a digital camera in front of you and record yourself reading this release? Afterwards, upload it to YouTube, Google Video, LiveLeak, etc. and place the text of the release along with any other additional metatags in the description field.

This will bring a lot more attention to this release and to the amazing work going on here in TOD.

This seems to be possible. According to the PRWeb online material:

Feature Video
Adding a new visual and audio dynamic on your PRWeb press release page is now possible. In addition to the Quotables and News Image features, you can now embed streaming video directly into your press release. Simply upload your video to Yahoo! Video, Google Video, or YouTube and then use the “embed code” provided to place the video into your press release. This “Feature Video” capability is available at our Media Visibility distribution level.

IIRC, the video has to be short if you are actually sending the code, so that the file size stays small. For a longer presentation, it might be that we could link to a video elsewhere, such as YouTube. Or we could theoretically just do a video presentation, on one of the video sites. The trick would be to find someone who would like to be in front of the camera and do well at it.

It looks like it will take about four and a half minutes to read. You looked like you were having fun in the pics on the oil platform a few months ago. Oily Cassandra might volunteer but I don't think she's the appropriate spokesperson for TOD. What about you, PG, HO, SS, NH, Leanan, or WT?

Of the group, I would nominate Professor Goose. He comes across as fairly buttoned down. A little crazy, but not too much so. He has let a fair number of people know his real name. He is probably too busy, though.

Heading Out and Leanan are out, because they have not revealed their real identities, and don't plan to. Westexas isn't on the staff of TOD.

Stuart Staniford might be a reasonable choice, if he were interested. I didn't run across a photo of him. He has a British accent, and to me, comes across as somewhat academic.

Nate Hagens would probably project a graduate student image. This is a picture of him.

This is a picture of me. I am not sure I would be good at it.

Hi again, Gail,

Just a couple of suggestions (easy to make them, when others are doing the work:)).

This would apply probably to your final paragraph.

I'd try to keep in mind that many readers may not have what we consider to be an accurate set of background facts, as context in which to place information from a news release. (I can't tell you how important this is from my experience. People get part of the picture, and then somehow (?) have managed to receive piece of misinformation to round it out. The net result is: otherwise well-educated people, seriously misinformed.)

So, I'd try to do two things:

1) Think about "It's significant in the big picture because..." (Example: "The question of Saudi capacity is important because SA in the top 14 of the world's exporting nations, and is the only one who's production is not in confirmed decline.") and...

2) Why should the general public - (or even subsets thereof) - care? (Example" "With a global economy dependent on fossil fuel use, the world urgently needs to prepare for a shrinking global supply.") (Or however you can best say it.) We want people to know this is a problem - not "just a problem", but a problem that...

So, to me, the conclusions you draw (final paragraph) come across as not all that striking, the way they're stated. (If this makes sense.) I think you could tie it in, briefly, to the urgency and significance of the "big picture".

On to the video idea:

1) I'd say, a spokesperson doesn't have to be on the staff, in order to be a spokesperson for TOD.

He/she could "just" be a "hired" - or in this case volunteer - "hand". I wouldn't limit my spokespersons, if I were you (all). Having more spokespersons could spread the work/fun around.

2) Nate, well goodness. My guess is, he doesn't or wouldn't really come across as a grad student. (Assuming coming across that way would be a minus. :)) First off, he's a bit on the old side for a typical grad student, isn't he? And, old/or young (depending upon one's relative viewpoint) and cute (the operative adjective) can't hurt.

3) You also have a nice look about you, Gail. I'd give it a try. "Not very good" - my guess is, you'd feel more comfortable as you went along. You might really take to it. My suggestion is to go ahead and do it. If you like, I can pass the result along to a pro I know, who might be able to give you some hints for future ones. OTOH, you might find you don't need them.

(I'd also comment on PG, but value my membership :).)

You are probably right about needing to include more background. It is easy to forget that the background of the general population is pretty poor. The press release could, in this case, include more background than the original post that it was based on.

I think part of what we are aiming for with press releases is to get information to newspapers. Part of it is as background for reporters. Also, if the reporter is lazy, the press release is supposed to be written in such a way that the reporter could copy some or all of the press release, and make a newspaper article from it.

I think the You Tube video (or similar) would reach a somewhat different audience. We would have to be even more careful to include enough background. I think it would take a fair amount of planning to well. We will have to see - I'm not the one to make decisions on things like this.

Hey hey Gail,

You could probably get some volunteers from the audience to audition for the part. The Oil Drum has a large, varied, and dedicated pool to pull from and digital recording equipment is abundant in our society. I think that if you make a request and supply a script then you will get at least a few high quality professional videos.


Hi Gail,

Thanks for responding. And Nate, (wups) - I meant to describe you as articulate (where did "cute" come from? :)) (sorry!). And, obviously, intelligent-looking :), except that if Gail posted your photo, it's not showing up in my access. I've seen one of you previously - it must have been with one of your articles (?)

I like Tim's idea.

Also, I'd say...from my POV, the main thing is to get the message out. (It doesn't have to be perfect.)

While "professional", as Tim describes, is great, there's a certain aesthetic I can imagine - that could result in a "fresh" look and feel, as well.

And, a comment on reporters - and the general public. It's also a matter (in my experience) that people just do not know *how* to think about this topic, even if they are willing to go so far as to contemplate it. That's where the background comes in. It's important to say the "why" - (the significance) - and to make it easy for them to find sources and people to talk to.

It's also possible - (another worthy project for helpful TODers?) - to perhaps have as a link up top a section for journalists. (Perhaps a journalist might say what should go in this. :))(Q and A) or something.

I think the You Tube video (or similar) would reach a somewhat different audience.

You'll reach those on your media list plus a much wider audience. Newspaper folks tend to skim over text releases, but they will watch a 4 minute clip.

Matt Simmons (Bloomberg): Peak Oil Now, Oil Perhaps to $300
69,641 views in 11 months

Peak Oil: Gas Prices, Supply Depletion & Energy Crisis SHORT
57,134 views in 18 months

Kucinich, Dean, + Biden on: Peak Oil, Ron Paul
45,369 views in 2 months

the 3 Oily Cassandra Videos
17,726 views in 4 weeks

Disseminating a text release is a good tactic to try to get the MSM to pick it up, but video inspires people to disseminate the release for you. You can make a separate background video instead of including everything in each new release. Each release should just be someone reading it with a TOD footer or a closing TOD url screen. K.I.S.S.!

Hi Perpetual,

This is great.

My suggestion is to email the editors and Gail, so that they'll be sure to see it, since your reply is a couple days after the post and not everyone checks back. (I'd do it but am having trouble w. my email right now and want to make sure it gets done!)

Just finished skimming the comments under Gail's first post highlighting President Bush's remark:

In light of the speculative content of some of the comments there, some may be interested in seeing his recent remarks in the light of others going back to the beginning of his presidency.

Back in November, it was pointed out here on TOD that on November 7, 2007, Bush said "Oil is going up because we use too much oil, and the capacity to replace reserves is dwindling."

This prompted me assemble a post that relays the chronology in some detail. Perhaps some may be interested in looking at it:

For example, on April 19, 2005, Bush said that within a decade "the hydrocarbon society will still be with us, but it can't be with us to the extent it is today."

On February 2, 2006, Bush's former Commerce Secretary Don Evans said: "The world is producing oil, the Middle East, every country at its full capacity and it's very unlikely that we're going to be able to see supply in the world grow from the levels where we are right now" (emphasis added).

In May 2006, Insight Magazine reported that sources close to Cheney had informed them that "Mr. Cheney's visit to Central Asia was based on the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Middle East oil supplies will become increasingly precarious after 2008."

In the interests of putting such things in synoptic form, I here repeat another one that has been identified by Gail and Jerome a Paris in the past couple days:

Bush, January 17, 2008: "I hope that OPEC, if possible, understands that if they could put more supply on the market it would be helpful. But a lot of these economies are going -- a lot of these oil-producing countries are full out."
(a Paris: ; Gail quotes more extensively in the comments below her original post, about 2/3 down)

Thanks for pulling these comments together.

"For example, on April 19, 2005, Bush said that within a decade "the hydrocarbon society will still be with us, but it can't be with us to the extent it is today."

For a Bushism, that's actually a very good quote! :-)
Imagine, Bush uses his best quote concerning oil depletion and the need to reduce oil consumption, and noboby is around to hear it! (or they don't want to hear it!)


This stuck me as one of those "bet ya can't do it" comments. Like "you are not man enough to be the swing producer". No matter what technique anyone uses, OPEC is keeping supply short to keep prices high. They make more money that way.


Wake Up, the government is not your friend and the media is the propaganda arm of corporations. Does this surprise anyone? Only fossil fuel shortages will force the issue, as the third world is beginning to feel first. See NY Times:

This story, of course, is about cooking oil, not for heating or transportation.

When I saw this headline in the NYT, the first thing that occurred to me was how accurate "End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream" continues to be.

I think a lot of the food versus fuel coverage in the press makes for good copy. It has a real drama to it of a major trade off and we have to decide which to chose. With cellulose ethanol, there is no such trade off. You have the grain for food and the stalks for fuel. I guess the newspapers will have to run some other stories after this becomes common place.