Bill Clinton acknowledges peak oil
June 22, 2006
Bill Clinton gave a speech to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies in Little Rock Arkansas, on June 17, and according to the Deep Intelligence Index,
Clinton said a Ã¢â‚¬Å“significant number of petroleum geologistsÃ¢â‚¬Â have warned that the world could be nearing the peak in oil production.
Clinton suggested that at current consumption rates (now more than 30 billion barrels per year, according to the International Energy Agency), the world could be out of Ã¢â‚¬Å“recoverable oilÃ¢â‚¬Â in 35 to 50 years, elevating the risk of Ã¢â‚¬Å“resource-based wars of all kindsÃ¢â‚¬Â.
During a question-and-answer period, the Georgia Straight asked Clinton if he believed that Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates had exaggerated claims about their proven oil reserves. The four Persian Gulf states are among the six nations with the greatest listed proven reserves. (Canada and Iraq are the other two.)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re overstating their reserves,Ã¢â‚¬Â Clinton replied. He added that he expects oil prices will reach US$100 per barrel Ã¢â‚¬Å“in five years or lessÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Texas-based energy-investment banker Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2005), told the Straight last October that 60 percent of all Saudi oil has come from one field, Ghawar. Simmons said that after the Saudis nationalized the industry, they increased their proven reserves by 100 billion barrels without making any new discoveries. In 1998, retired petroleum geologists Colin Campbell and Jean LaherrÃƒÂ¨re wrote an article in Scientific American, claiming that Saudi Arabia and several other Oil Producing and Exporting Countries had also increased their proven reserves. This enabled those countries to export more petroleum under OPECÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quota system.