The chief executive of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, Jeroen van der Veer, put out a paper on Friday forecasting the end of easy oil....This has been exactly what Oil Peakists have been saying for years now -- that the official statements of the oil majors are unreliable, you have to base your predictions on what hard data exists. Now, on that front: according to the folks at The Oil Drum, the numbers now show that world production of "total liquids" (crude oil, plus a mess of other crap) reached a new high in October of 2007. However, crude oil itself is still below the (so far) all-time peak of May, 2005.
Dr Jim Buckee has just retired as president and chief executive of Talisman Energy, a major independent Canadian oil company with a market capitalisation of $25 billion.... "I think it was only a matter of time before one of them had to say that, and the pronouncements of the majors are inscrutable at best and I believe they often have a very political overtone," he said.
"Always the line of the major oil companies, Exxon, Shell, BP has been, 'there's plenty of oil, technology will overcome shortages; we'll find it'.... They changed a little bit to, 'there's plenty of oil, but access is difficult' and then this is a change again saying, 'well actually, it looks like it's finite and we're looking over the hill'."
Meanwhile, according to the US Government, America produced less oil domestically in 2007 than at any time since the Iron Curtain fell over eastern Europe. These declines are irreversible, and driven by geology. They have, for almost 40 years, proven themselves totally unmoved by US geopolitical and domestic demands. So long as America insists on equating "energy independence" with "more and more gasoline for more and more SUVs", America is pursuing the impossible.