Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Embargo

FSO Transcription - Matthew R. Simmons "Twilight in the Desert"- August 6, 2005

What I came up with was finding that there are about 120 oil fields in the world that still produced over 100,000 bpd, and that they collectively were 49% of the world’s oil supply. What I also found is that the top 14 fields that still produce over 500,000 bpd each, were 20% of the world’s oil supply, and on average they were 53 years old.

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And obviously it’s cheap. I don’t know what’s the next cheapest liquid we actually sell in any bulk is, that has any value. I suspect there are places around the United States where municipal water costs more than 18 cents a pint. And yet for some reason, we created a society that was built on a belief that oil prices in a normal range were some place in the $15-20 level. It turns out $15/barrel, which is the average price of oil – in 2004 dollars – it sold for, for the last 140 years, is less than 4 cents a pint. So we’ve basically used up the vast majority of the world’s high flow rate, high quality sweet oil at prices that were effectively so cheap, you basically couldn’t sustain an industry. And now we’re left with lots of oil. But it’s heavy, gunky, dirty, sour, contaminated with various things oil, it doesn’t come out of the ground very fast, is very energy intensive to get out of the ground and we’re going to pay a fortune for it.

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