A few quotes have been flying around from an energy security panel at Davos featuring some of the world’s biggest oil and gas players.
None of the comments were a big departure from what these people have said previously. Saudi Aramco chief executive Khalid al-Falih said peak oil concerns had been ‘pushed behind’ and blamed peak oil fears for some of the recent oil price volatility. Thierry Desmarest, chairman of Total (which is probably the most peak oil-friendly of the majors) maintained it was still a problem. BP’s Tony Hayward talked about the prospects for Iraq. Daniel Yergin of CERA chaired.
Pour le président du groupe français Total, Thierry Desmarest, qui participait au même débat, “le +peak oil+ reste un problème”. On atteindra “le +peak oil+ dans une dizaine d’années. On n’y est pas aujourd’hui”, a-t-il dit à l’AFP.
Which roughly translates as: peak oil is still a problem; it will be reached in “about 10 years”, [but] not today. This is probably a reference to his belief that production will never exceed 95m barrels per day (which he talks about from about 34 minutes in, saying “it’s not that we lack reserves… a lot of it is difficult to be produced”.)
The full video is below. Falih’s comments begin about 12 minutes in:
In further evidence that the energy industry is not about to let oil production peak, GE Energy Services is moving toward boosting oil and natural gas production from reservoirs unreachable with current technology, which begins to break down at the higher temperatures at greater depths. In 2008, GE Energy asked the US Department of Energy to support its program to develop high temperature electronics required for oilfield and geothermal drilling.
The DOE agreed to fund the program to enable deep well drilling applications for discovering hard-to-reach oil and gas reserves and toward the development of geothermal energy.
There were fears that energy and climate change might not even get a mention in last night’s State of the Union address, but President Obama did in fact remark on it a few times. Critics though could (and do) argue that the subject appeared only in fairly mild terms. And, crucially for the climate bills currently before Congress, cap-and-trade was never mentioned.
That could simply be a reflection of the fact that cap-and-trade, for most voters, is political poison (even if that’s partly because few understand it). But if it was entirely opinion-poll driven, it’s notable that energy was mentioned almost solely in the context of jobs and winning the clean tech race. Energy security, another argument popular with all kinds of voters – didn’t get a look-in.