Question Column in English

The future of oil and its price is being discussed worldwide. This brings other questions about energy into focus as well. On my blog I try to capture what I believe is interesting in my daily surroundings but, of course, there are many other questions and events that are of interest happening in the world. As a trial, I will start a question column where others can pose questions etc.. I will take up the most interesting questions on the main blog, others can get a short answer.

34 Responses “Question Column in English” →

  1. Melissa Ahern

    June 23, 2008

    What is your current estimate of peak all-liquids?


  2. Mario Dominguez

    November 2, 2008

    Is there a way to get contact with a member of the ASPO to agree a conference in Mexico? It’s for a congress made in my university, and I’m asking that becausase that way all the students in my university will start thinking in this matters, and some of them will try to solve them. Thanks for your time, I’ll be waiting a responce. Mario Dominguez, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

  3. I read an newspaper article from a University of Hawaii professor about “peak oil” ( located at ). Every time that I read something about the subject the basic message is the same: “The world is using far far too much oil and energy. Production is dropping fast. Usage is going through the roof. Very soon we will be facing a day when life as we know it will end. Doomsday Day with a god to help us. However the scientists of the world do not know how much oil is left. And we don’t know how to find out. But trust us, Armageddon is coming.”

    Mr. President, instead of using fear tactics to put the cart before the horse, I strongly suggest using the vast scientific expertise to find out more about what you’re talking about. Use sonar technology or whatever is at hand to come up with new theories and hard data. When one has the numbers about *exactly* how much energy the planet has left, perhaps then you can lecture us about what we are doing wrong and how we can change!

    Until then (I won’t be holding my breath) I think all options should be considered. Moving renewable energy technology into widespread use, more R&D, finding more efficient ways to extract and use oil such as thermal depolymerization, and drilling in places that were not previously considered.

  4. Finns det någon information om detta ämne på andra språk?


  5. stanley jeong

    April 20, 2009

    It is always not wise to listen to a young investment banker because we all know what happened to the companies who did listen to them. That is why when I see someone by the name of Ruchir Sharma from Morgan Stanley make a prediction about oil I try not to step on it less I soil my shoes. Having said that one older and considerably wiser gentleman named Henry Groppe has made a prediction not quite as dire as Matt Simmons warnings. Mr. Groppe has been making predictions on the course of oil prices for some 50 plus years and has an uncanny way of being correct. His premise is that many of the high consuming countries for oil such as China are building(at a furious rate) new electrical plants which use coal(cheaper BTU). Currently 15 million barrels a day are used by the world to generate electricity or create heat in factories. If as Mr. Groppe’s premise goes those 15 million barrels a day currently used for electricity, now goes toward transportation we are in store for a more innocuous price of $65 to $95 a barrel(barring any above ground issues)for the next seven years. Yes this does not solve our long term problem concerning oil especially with the growth in population however if Mr. Groppe’s analysis is correct these next 7 years could be the best ever and could make us ASPO people look foolish unless we also highlight Mr. Groppe’s analysis letting the average public know this could likely happen however it won’t last for the long term. Mr. Groppe because he has a long time partner who recently quit his firm and went to work for the Saudis in long term planning is quite confident that the Saudis can maintain production as they said they are able to AND that unlike Matt Simmons says the Saudi’s oil production numbers are pretty good. In fact although Mr. Groppe and Mr. Simmons are friends , Mr. Groppe(in a veiled manner) has taken issue with Mr. Simmons numbers for the Saudis. I really beleive it is all important to resolve these number between Mr. Groppe and Mr. Simmons for the future credibility of ASPO and also for the worlds sake. This is much too important to ignore .


  6. Marc Callens

    August 25, 2009

    In an Op-ed in the New York Times ‘Peak Oil Is a Waste of Energy’ August 24th 2009,
    Michael Lynch, an energy consultant at MIT argues that Peak Oil theory is based on poor analyses of data and misinterpretations of technical material.

    What about these arguments?

  7. Marc Callen,
    The only person that have done poor analysis and misinterpreted technical material is Michael Lynch. We, like most other peak oil analysts, only rely on quantitative and actual data taken from real production cases. The identified trends and behaviours are later generalized, analyzed and interpreted based on natural science.

    A splendid example of Lynchs inability to grasp natural science is his statements about easy oil and how persian oil workers didnt produce “easy oil” 100 years ago compared to the present mechanized and computerized rigs. For a physisist and engineer it is very much “easier” to drill a few hundred feets deep and let natural gas drive to the oil recovery for you, compared to drilling through thousands of feets of water, followed by equally much rock before reaching a reservoir that requires fluid injection to yield any reasonable flows. “Easy” is chiefly determined by the physical work that needs to be done to obtain the oil, not by the feeling of the oil workers. Thats an enourmous difference, even though economists such as Lynch doesnt seem to grasp it.


    • Marc Callens

      August 27, 2009

      Mikael Höök,

      Thank you for this clarification. I would like to suggest to reply to the New York Times in a way the general public can understand that the ideas of Michael Luynch are flawed.

  8. Kjell, recently you have calculated that 60 mboe/d (oil and gas) are needd to maintain global food production and distribution.

    How much is the oil component only?

    • Matt,

      Kjell claimed in a slide show that 60 mboe/d is used for the food system and that “most” of it is from oil. Perhaps 40 mb/d of oil or more? That would be nearly half of worldwide oil production.

      I think it might be a mistake. Kjell might have miscalculated here. Those figures seem too high to me. I have read other figures from the DOE which are quite different.

      Most oil is burned by suburbanites (especially in the USA) driving around in their cars, and most trips are not to the food store or supermarket.

      -Tom S

  9. What is your view on the use of oil from algae? I have read numbers like 1000 gallons per acre per year at a cost of $2 per gallon. Should I believe these numbers?


  10. I had never heard about making oil with algae! Interresting…

    Does hydrogen motor fueled system and can be an alternativ for transport ??

  11. Benzene levels as measured by the US EPA are 0.012ppm in some land areas of the US south as a result of the oil spill. The legal limit for residential exposure is 0.004ppm. The legal limit for exposure of employees is 0.1ppm so I guess all those folks are now employees of BP. So my question is how much will they be paid for taking on the additional cancer load/risk?


  12. Trying to find Mr Simon Rattcliffe

    June 6, 2010

    Hello, this is a very long shot I am attempting to find a Simon Ratcliffe, who attended Salisbury Cathedral School where he was taught by my father Mr James Elkington. I have no idea if the Mr Ratcliffe of your Company is one and the same, but if so, I would be extremely grateful if you could forward him my details, the reason for this being that I have to tell him of my dear Fathers death (aged 90!) I have no contact details for his mother who was very goood friends with dad and I desperately need to inform her. My name is Caroline Jane Elkington, I lived in Salisbury Wiltshire, and if it is the same Simon he will remember myself and my father. Thank you.


  13. Ed Pell

    March 2, 2011

    Can you comment on this claim in today’s Daily Mail?

    “Joule claims, for instance, that its cyanobacterium can produce 15,000 gallons of diesel full per acre annually, over four times more than the most efficient algal process for making fuel. And they say they can do it at $30 (£18.45) a barrel.”


  14. Greetings;
    Is it known if the IPCC has rerun the computer models using
    the new fossil fuel data thet you published in 2010 ?

    If so what were the results ?



  15. bo rylander

    October 18, 2011

    which is cheapest, gas or grillcoal?


  16. Peter Metcalfe

    April 29, 2012

    HI Kjell,

    I’ve had your book ‘Peeking at Peak Oil’ orderted on Amazon’s US site for several months now and I can’t wait to read it. I’m just confused about the editions they have advertized there. The Paperback edition (which is the one I seem to have ordered) is advertized as being published on May 29 and having 200 pages, while the Hardcover is advertized as being published on June 30 and having 345 pages. Can you please tell me whether these numbers and dates are correct. I want to read the book as soon as possible, but I want to read the full 345 pages and not just 200 pages. If I’ve ordered a short copy, I want to cancel it as soon as possible and order the longer version. Thanks very much,

    Peter Metcalfe, Katikati, New Zealand


  17. aleklett

    April 29, 2012

    I don’t know what Amazon is doing. The book that will be printed is a hardcopy and the one that Springer present on this page:

    On Amazon you can find it at:

    This is the right number: ISBN 978-1-4614-3423-8

  18. Can you give a comment on the tight oil volumes as resources and as posible production (million barel/day)

    “If Harold Hamm is convinced the Bakken will give up 24 billion barrels, a play 80 times bigger like the Bazhenov would imply 1,920 billion barrels. That’s a preposterous figure, enough oil to satisfy all of current global demand for 64 years, or to do 5 million bpd for more than 1,000 years. Rosneft, says Clint, has already estimated 18 billion barrels on its Bazhenov acreage. Either way, it looks like they’ll still be working the Bazhenov long after Vladimir Putin has finally retired and the Peak Oil crowd realizes there’s more oil out there than we’ve ever imagined.”

  19. Hej Kjell, Har du installerat dig i Texas nu? Någon första bloggrapport på väg? Man är ju nyfiken!


  20. Mats Niklasson

    January 4, 2014

    Hello Kjell!
    I`m waiting for “Peeking at peak oil” to come out in a swedish version.
    When does that happen?

    Best Regards


  21. Donovan Whistler

    April 1, 2014

    Hello Kjell!
    I’m part way through reading at “Peeking at Peak Oil” And to be analytical, being that I’m at page 250, I’m on the downward slope of the curve. Joking aside, I’m curious if your research group (and/or associates) might be looking at the LNG development situation within British Columbia, Canada (where I reside). This is currently being touted as a project of national level importance… and as a must have economic saviour for the province. A lot of hype…. but certainly pretty well zero technical or econometric analytics is being reported in the media. A lot of political hype and bluster. Just curious…. and I suspect that pursuing this project will have significant downside environmental impacts, and force the commitment of investment funds and government subsidies (tax holidays, protocols for taxation, subsidies, etc.) away from greener solutions. Early on the provincial government “declared” that carbon emissions related to using natural gas for compressing to LNG were free of such emissions accountability.


  22. Hello Kjell,
    Any comments concerning OPEC, Russia, Saudi, Fracking etc. now when we see a clear drop in oilprice october 2014?
    Brent below $90.

  23. Kjell, you write today about 80.000 necessary new wells this year to remain production.
    But you say nothing about where these wells has to be drilled.
    Or how easy or difficoult this is.
    How many HAS been drilled?
    Maybe 80.000 is no problem??

    More information would help here.
    Appreciate your work!

  24. Dear Mr. Aleklett,
    I am with National Equal Justice Association, a non-profit association in San Francisco, USA. We’re doing a Community Education Campaign about the Dangers of Fracking and request permission to reprint a photo of yours (1/14/14) of the N. Dakota disaster for our newsletter. Thank you for your consideration of this. Gail Williamson

  25. Hello Kjell,
    We see even lower prices, down towards $60, today.
    You have many times discussed the clearly higher production costs for many producers. I think we will see effects in investments and productions due to the price level.
    How soon do you think we see effect in production? Will North Sea show first? Or will countries like Venezuela or others be effected first?
    It will be interesting to read your thoughts about the resent desition of OPEC and effects on the markets.
    What about fracking i US? Will they receive som kind of Governmental support? To finance rising costs and lower prices?
    I am a bit fascinated of what will happen!

  26. Hello Kjell,
    Aug. 4 2015 and we see an oil price Brent under $50 which is remarkable.
    What is your comments about the present oil situation?
    Is the available oil of larger scale then expected?
    Is the oil supply of no problem for years (decades) to come?
    It is very hard to understand the current situation. What will happen?

  27. What happened to the ASPO International link on your website? It no longer seems to work?


  28. Don´t understand

    November 26, 2015

    What is your comments on the great production and large storage?
    How is it possible to have such a large oil supply when the price now is around $40?
    What happened to the expected drop in production when prices turned low?

    Are you surprised? Or is this expected scenario?

  29. Is the World flooding with cheap oil? Despite the drop in price which reasonably would have lead to a drop in production. Particularly in costly fracking. Or?
    I remember your words: the time of cheap oil has passed….
    So it looked at the time. But WHAT is really your analysis of todays under $40 ?
    Is the World flooded with cheap oil nevertheless?? Will it continue?


  30. Peter Metcalfe

    December 8, 2015

    Great question, Rune. I’m really looking forward to Kjell’s reply.


  31. Jim Ollila

    December 28, 2016

    Hej! Jag är en totalt ovetande människa angående energi. Men de mest ovetande har väll gjort någon verkan på det mänskliga livet? Jag vågar ej nämna det jag kommit på här, vet ej ifall någon läser och kräver uppmärksamheten för upptäckten. Var vänligen maila mig så skall jag skriva vad jag kommit på. Har googlat, finns ej ännu detta! Mvh Jim Ollila


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