Peak Oil News

Monday, May 17, 2004

Vice President Dick Cheney on Peak Oil and a rationale for the Iraq war
In the April 2004 issue of the magazine The Middle East there is a statement that Vice- President Dick Cheney made in a speech at the London Institute of Petroleum Autumn lunch in 1999 when he was Chairman of Halliburton.
A key passage from his speech was: “That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day.” It suggested that he was fully aware of the issue of peak oil. A full text of the talk had been available on the website of the Institute of Petroleum, but has now been removed ( A printed version dated August 24, 2000 was located and included included in this document: Dick Cheney, Peak Oil and the Final Count Down
Excerpt - Dick Cheney: “From the standpoint of the oil industry obviously - and I'll talk a little later on about gas - for over a hundred years we as an industry have had to deal with the pesky problem that once you find oil and pump it out of the ground you've got to turn around and find more or go out of business. Producing oil is obviously a self-depleting activity. Every year you've got to find and develop reserves equal to your output just to stand still, just to stay even. This is as true for companies as well in the broader economic sense it is for the world. A new merged company like Exxon-Mobil will have to secure over a billion and a half barrels of new oil equivalent reserves every year just to replace existing production. It's like making one hundred per cent interest; discovering another major field of some five hundred million barrels equivalent every four months or finding two Hibernias a year. For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep finding and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million plus barrel a day of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and the national oil companies are obviously in control of about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer greet oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greeter access there, progress continues to be slow.”


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