The Conversation Piece
27 October 2009
Energy & Capital says ‘CNBC blown Peak oil coverage’:
‘US days of depending on imports are over’
Earlier in the month I was set on course to ranting about the water crisis as my
top October issue in the media, especially seeing as MEETI will be launching a
Waste Water Management programme in 2010. But that was before I met a
headline statement in the past week that said ‘The Bakken strike is the largest
domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay.’ This claim went on to
say ‘… It [the Bakken oil find] has the potential to drastically reduce
America's dependence on foreign oil’. Now I trust that this catches your
attention as it sure did mine. I have decided that this is going to be our October
Any news to do with the United States of America and oil is generally worthy of
thought, but news that suggests the largest consumer of foreign oil supplies
gaining total independence from such, is particularly attention grabbing for very
obvious reasons – it is about power and it is more so if it is about the USA.
Two or so weeks ago, Energy & Capital, an American electronic newsletter for
energy investors, carried the headline ‘CNBC blown Peak oil coverage’
suggesting that the US has recently struck around 9 billion barrels of light sweet
crude oil between Montana and Canada. Arguably, the headline sort to cast
doubt around all that has been said in the Peak oil discourse so far. The Energy
& Capital report went on to assert that this find implies that the days of American
dependence on foreign oil are behind us.
Now, we know from the BP world energy statistics (www.bp.com, 2008) that the
USA’s consumption (in barrels per day) accounts for some 22.5% and that this
figure places the US at the of position highest energy consumer in the world. A
significant shift from this unique position is no doubt newsworthy but also
suggestion of such a shift is bound to be met with cynicism. After all, the energy
dependence of the United States belongs more under the rubric of world
diplomatic relations than it does under the world of simple commodity demand
Arguably world international relations and world politics are inextricably tied with
American energy demand economics. American demand for energy defines a lot
of the global economic agenda today and any notable change in that equation
implies that the next big thing since the first mention of the world economic crisis
is already here. With that, it is surprising that this news is not fodder for other
major media including CNBC. I myself feel somewhat silly for even entertaining
the story. But what if it were true?
On that note, I solicited expert opinion, amongst MEETI energy associates. I had
my conversation piece with ThorbjØrn G Svendsen, a visiting gas expert from a
Gassco - a Norwegian state owned gas company, who is currently lecturing on
MEETI’s certificate programme in petroleum industry, and he had this to say
about American energy independence story. He had this to say:
Thobjorn is manager of infrastructure development specifically to do with
financial and commercial developments. In a nutshell, if major global gas
infrastructure investment decisions are indeed influenced by American energy
demand, it is ThorbjØrn’s business to know of major shifts in this space.
In the end this American energy independence story might not check out in fact,
but what it does do is cause our minds to ponder the possibility and even react
somewhat around the resulting mind images. Dear reader of interest great to me
is your mind images. What is your take on these suggestions and possibilities?
What is your conversation piece?
What minerals or energy issue caught your attention in the media lately? Suggest
our next topic for the next issue and stand a chance to a full bursary for a MEETI
About The Conversation Piece
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MEETI signs the Copenhagen Communiqué
Things are heating up as 15th COP (conference of Parties) negotiations on climate action, aimed at
delivering the next generation climate change intervention instrument approach. In the midst of all the
build up MEETI is delighted to announce its signing of the Copenhagen Communiqué.
The Kyoto Protocol of 2005 comes under review in December 2009 COP and it is anticipated that the
result of this global dialogue is a refined and robust agreement that will see the human influenced
degradation of the earth’s climate brought under some kind of control.
There is no argument that