World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar; Total pulls itself into line.

Posted on December 8, 2011

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(Swedish below)

Before the World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar the newspaper Gulf Times wrote in an article that, “A highlight is the keynote speech that will be delivered by Total’s President and CEO, Christophe de Margerie on the theme: “Peak oil – ahead of us or behind us?” on December 7”. The fact that Peak Oil is the theme for one of the seven main presentations at the congress shows that Peak Oil is now an important topic of discussion in the international and national oil industries. Earlier, Total had indicated that they believed Peak Oil could occur before 2030 so it was with some suspense that we awaited the message from Total and their managing director de Margarie.

It was with great excitement that I read in Upstreamonline.com their first article on the new message from Total. However, it proved to be a great disappointment. It seems that Total has pulled itself into line and now says, “Yes, we can meet demand”. On Peak Oil they now no longer give any timepoint but say instead that technology will make it possible meet future needs. The International Energy (IEA) says that future needs are greater than 100 million barrels per day in 2035. Here are some lines from the article at Upstreamonline.com:
“Yes we can,” was the message from the enigmatic boss of oil giant Total to the World Petroleum Congress in Qatar on the industry’s ongoing attempt to tackle pessimistic peak oil scenarios, with improvements in technology to lead the fight. “We have plenty of resources,” the chief executive of the French oil stalwart told delegates at a conference session in Doha on Wednesday entitled: ‘Peak oil: ahead of us or behind us?’ “The problem is not with resources, it is how to extract resources in an acceptable manner, because today, a lot of people won’t accept it. So we have to fight, not against it, but to fight to…prove that we can do it in a more acceptable, sustainable way.”
De Margerie claimed it is a fight which can be won by oil companies once priority is given to implementing new technologies for exploration and production.“Keep in mind that: yes we can – and I was not the first to say it,” de Margerie said in reference to a campaign slogan employed by Barack Obama in his successful bid for the US presidency.
“Energy is life, but the price to pay will be extremely high… Energy can be done in a way which is in compliance with the climate, and definitely we have this as a common challenge.”
The Total boss warned that “huge investment” is needed in the oil and gas industry to meet increasing demand at lower cost to the climate. “That is what people are expecting from us: it is not just to say that we cannot do it, it is to say, ‘yes, we can do it’, but we need to prove that it can be done in a clean way.”

If we summarise the oil industry’s activities in recent months we can assert that Peak Oil is now on their agenda and they do not deny that, with current technology Peak Oil would be reality. However, they believe in new technological breakthroughs. This can be interpreted in many ways but what is needed now is that industry and the IEA reveal what their analyses say that these new technologies will be able to achieve. The IEA has said previously that four new Saudi Arabias will be needed just to maintain current production.

Swedich: Inför World Petroleum Congress i Doha, Qatar, skriver Gulf Times i en artikel: A highlight is the keynote speech that will be delivered by Total’s President and CEO, Christophe de Margerie on the theme: “Peak oil – ahead of us or behind us?” on December 7. Det faktum att Peak Oil blev temat för en av de sju huvudpresentationerna vid kongressen visar att Peak Oil numera är ett stort diskussionsämne inom den internationella och nationella oljeindustrin. Tidigare har Total indikerat att man tror att Peak Oil kan bli verklighet innan 2030 så det var med spänning som vi väntade på budskapet från Total och deras verkställande direktör de Margerie.

Med stor spänning läste jag i Upstreamsonline.com en första artikel om det nya budskapet från Total och det blev en stor besvikelse. Det visade sig att man nu har rättat in sig i ledet och säger ”Yes, we can meet demand” och vad det gäller Peak Oil nämner man ingen tidpunkt utan budskapet är att teknologi skall göra det möjligt att möta framtidens behov och International Energy Agency säger att framtidens behov är mer än 100 miljoner fat om dagen år 2035. Här är några rader från artikeln i Upstreamsonline.com:

“Yes we can,” was the message from the enigmatic boss of oil giant Total to the World Petroleum Congress in Qatar on the industry’s ongoing attempt to tackle pessimistic peak oil scenarios, with improvements in technology to lead the fight.
“We have plenty of resources,” the chief executive of the French oil stalwart told delegates at a conference session in Doha on Wednesday entitled: ‘Peak oil: ahead of us or behind us?’
“The problem is not with resources, it is how to extract resources in an acceptable manner, because today, a lot of people won’t accept it. So we have to fight, not against it, but to fight to…prove that we can do it in a more acceptable, sustainable way.”
De Margerie claimed it is a fight which can be won by oil companies once priority is given to implementing new technologies for exploration and production.
“Keep in mind that: yes we can – and I was not the first to say it,” de Margerie said in reference to a campaign slogan employed by Barack Obama in his successful bid for the US presidency.
“Energy is life, but the price to pay will be extremely high… Energy can be done in a way which is in compliance with the climate, and definitely we have this as a common challenge.”
The Total boss warned that “huge investment” is needed in the oil and gas industry to meet increasing demand at lower cost to the climate. “That is what people are expecting from us: it is not just to say that we cannot do it, it is to say, ‘yes, we can do it’, but we need to prove that it can be done in a clean way.”

Om vi summerar oljeindustrins aktiviteter de senaste månaderna kan vi konstatera att Peak Oil nu finns på agendan och man förnekar inte att med dagens teknik är Peak Oil verklighet, men man tror på nya teknologiska genombrott. Detta kan tolkas på många sätt, men det krävs nu att industrin och IEA med öppna analyser visa vad dessa nya teknologier skall åstadkomma. International Energy Agency har tidigare sagt att det krävs fyra nya Saudiarabien bara för att behålla en konstant produktion.

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