Mittwoch, Februar 03, 2010

Peaking Oil Supply - Quotes

Peak Oil Quotes
Statements by key individuals


Thierry Desmarest, Chairman of the Board at Total SA, January 28th, 2010 - "The problem of peak oil remains. We have always been relatively prudent in our assessment of a peak oil date in Total between, I would say, the International Energy Agency which was extremely optimistic a few years ago - a bit less today - and some so called experts who were announcing that the peak oil has already taken place. In our opinion it will be very difficult to raise the oil production above 95 million barrels/day, which is something like 10% above today's level - so its not enormous. Its not that we lack reserves, there are plenty of oil to produced but a lot of it is difficult to be produced. Huge resources like the Athabasca oil sands for instance - when you look to the newsflow of the last 2 or 3 years you have just seen a lot of postponements of projects, not that much because of lack of profitability of projects but also with environmental concerns, as an example among others. So I think we must keep in mind that in a few years from now the market may be in a relatively difficult position in, the energy security concerning oil (because I think for gas we have certainly more time), will be a big problem."


Andrew Sentance, member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, September 2009 - "On the energy front, I can see substantial upside risks to prices over the coming recovery as demand picks up across the global economy and Asia plays a leading role in the growth of the world economy. Against the background of supply constraints, this creates the potential for continuing price volatility. I do not see supply developments and environmental policy moves changing the energy price environment which became established in the mid-2000s until much later in the next decade."

Iain Reid, Head of European Oil and Gas research at Macquarie Bank, September 2009 - “This is our view – capacity has pretty much peaked in the sense that declines equal new resources,”

Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total, September 2009 - "We are running the risk of another oil crisis when demand outstrips supply around 2014 or 2015. There won’t be enough oil and gas by the middle of the next decade."

Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, August 2009 - "Many governments now are more and more aware that at least the day of cheap and easy oil is over... [however] I'm not very optimistic about governments being aware of the difficulties we may face in the oil supply,"

Vince Cable, Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, June 2009 - "Long-term thinking is difficult in the current political crisis, when most politicians are obsessed by tomorrow's headlines,...but our future as a country depends much more on our ability to plan ahead for the next oil shock and the post-oil world."

Andris Piebalgs, EU Energy Commissioner, May 2009 "The current relatively low oil prices give a respite to prepare for the coming new oil crisis. We have to reduce our dependency in all those areas in which black gold is not indispensable... And in all sectors, we have to accelerate our efficiency being aware that every barrel of oil that we are using is one of the last."

Christophe de Margerie , CEO Total, February 2009 The world will never be able to produce more than 89m barrels a day of oil, the head of Europe's third-largest energy group has warned, citing high costs in areas such as Canada and political restrictions in countries such as Iran and Iraq. Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total, the French oil and gas company, said he had revised his forecast for 2015 oil production downward by at least 4m barrels a day because of the current economic crisis and the collapse in oil prices.


Katsuaki Watanabe, President, Toyota– June 2008 "Our view is that oil production will peak in the near future. We need to develop power train(s) for alternative energy sources."

T. Boone Pickens, Chair BP Capital Management hedge fund – 17th June 2008 "I do believe we have peaked out at 85 million barrels a day globally,"

Shokri Ghanem – head of Libya's National Oil Corporation, 8th June 2008 “The easy, cheap oil is over. Peak oil is looming”

Jeroen van de Veer – CEO of Shell, 22nd January 2008 “Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand.”

Rick Wagoner - ex GM Chairman and Chief Exec, at the Detroit Motor Show, 13th January, 2008 "There is no doubt demand for oil is outpacing supply at a rapid pace, and has been for some time now,...As a business necessity and an obligation to society we need to develop alternative sources of propulsion."

Dave O’Reilly - Chevron, 15th February 2008, "We're seeing the beginnings of a bidding war for Middle Eastern oil between east and west,"

Fatih Birol - IEA, writing in The Independent 2nd March 2008 – “We are on the brink of a new energy order. Over the next few decades, our reserves of oil will start to run out and it is imperative that governments in both producing and consuming nations prepare now for that time. We should not cling to crude down to the last drop – we should leave oil before it leaves us. That means new approaches must be found soon..... The really important thing is that even though we are not yet running out of oil, we are running out of time.”

George W. Bush, March 5th 2008 "We gotta get off oil, American has got to change its habits,".. "It should be obvious to all, demand has outstripped supply, which makes prices go up."

James W. Buckee -Retired President and CEO of Talisman Energy Inc., 29th January 2008. "If you think that at the moment the world is consuming 30-plus billion barrels a year of oil and is finding seven or eight billion barrels a year, and this state of affairs has been going on now for 20 or more years. "It's obviously unsustainable and the world is increasingly drawing on the bigger, older fields. You couple that notion with the irreversibility of decline and you've got a very alarming picture."

Jeremy Leggett and Shell - Advertisement appeared in Time Europe Edition, one of the CNN Principal Voices series, 31st March 2008 “A premature topping point in global oil production would wipe out economic plans currently on offer in boardrooms and finance ministries around the world. This is because such plans assume growing supplies of affordable oil for several decades to come.“


Sadad al-Huseini - former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, 31st October, 2007 “The evidence is that in spite of the increases - very large increases - in oil prices over the last four years, we haven't been able to match that with increasing capacity. So, essentially, we are on a plateau.”

Christophe de Margerie - CEO Total, 30/31st October 2007. "100m barrels per day is now in my view an optimistic case…"

Fatih Birol - IEA, interviewed in Le Monde, June 2007 “From now to 2015, the market and the oil industry will be severely tested. In the next five to ten years, oil production from non-OPEC producers will reach a peak before starting to decline, for lack of sufficient reserves. As each day passes, new evidence of this fact appears. At the same time the peak of the economic expansion phase of China will take place. The two events will coincide: the explosion of the growth of the Chinese demand, and the fall in production of non-OPEC oil. Will our oil system be it able to answer this challenge, that is the question.” “If production does not increase in Iraq in an exponential way between now and 2015, we have a very big problem, even if Saudi Arabia meets its obligations. The figures are very simple, you do not need to be an expert. It is enough to know how to do a subtraction. China will grow very quickly, India also, and even Saudi Arabia projections of the 3 Mb/day will not be enough to meet the rise of Chinese demand.”

Lord Oxburgh- former CEO of Shell, September 2007 “’ve got three main variables: rising world demand, and it’s a bit hard to predict exactly how fast that is going to rise; how much oil is going to be available; and how fast substitutes for oil come to market (synthetic fuels can be made in quite a number of ways). But all of that said I don’t think this is going to happen in the next five years, and I would be surprised if the difficulties ahead had not really emerged within the next twenty.”

“The message in short is that we are just about to enter hot water, quite serious hot water. And the danger is that we sit there blissfully like the frog in the pan of water gently heating on the stove until – as the Irish would say – it wakes up to find itself dead. In other words we may be sleepwalking into a problem which is actually going to be very serious and that it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware.”


Dr. James Schlesinger - former US Energy Secretary, 16th November 2005 “In the longer run, unless we take serious steps to prepare for the day that we can no longer increase production of conventional oil, we are faced with the possibility of a major economic shock—and the political unrest that would ensue.”

Dave O’Reilly - CEO, Chevron in their Real Issues Ad, 12th July 2005 “Energy will be one of the defining issues of this century. One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over. What we all do next will determine How well we meet the energy needs of the entire world in this century and beyond.” “It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil. We’ll use the next trillion in 30.“

References from the press


The Independent Lead Article, 28th April 2008 “In the broader context, this crisis must be seen as part of the global energy squeeze. It has been clear for some time that global demand for oil has been outstripping supply. That is what is pushing up prices around the world. That a relatively minor industrial dispute such as this can have such a knock-on effect demonstrates how dependent Britain is on a relatively small number of supply outlets. The Grangemouth dispute will eventually, no doubt, be settled, but the chronic crisis of our economy's total reliance on environmentally damaging and dwindling oil supplies will continue.”

Financial Times Lead Article, 17th April 2008 “Preparing for the age of peak oil - Russia's vast oil and gas reserves were seen not so long ago as the best hope of meeting growing world energy demand. No more. This week a top Russian oil executive echoed earlier official warnings that oil production could fall for the first time in a decade.”


Independent, 17th September 2007 “Oil Industry ‘Sleepwalking into crisis’ - Former Shell chairman says that diminishing resources could push price of crude to $150 a barrel’ – 7th August 2007 “Why oil won't hit $100 - New production, new energy sources and some conservation could push down prices by 2010 - but don't expect $20 a barrel anytime soon.”

William Rees Mogg, The Times, 16th July 2007 “Oil ruled the 20th century; the shortage of oil will rule the 21st. There is now no doubt about the rising trend of oil prices.”

Financial Times, 10th July 2007 “World will face oil crunch in five years – IEA says supply falling faster than expected.”


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