The world is awash in oil… but we’ve been led to believe otherwise

As a former geologist and current energy executive, I want you to know that oil is plentiful.  By every measure we have plenty of oil to last for decades.  And as I watch exploration for oil worldwide, I expect a dramatic change in the current perception of oil shortage to oil surplus.  For example Amoco continues to find mammoth fields in the Gulf of Mexico.  Amoco’s Thunderhorse field began production in June 2008 and is expected to produce 250,000 barrels of oil per day plus 200 Million cubic feet of natural gas.  This, my friends, is a staggering amount of oil.  And BP has found more fields in the area which all combined could produce another 100,000 barrels of oil per day.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Aggressive exploration for oil is going on around the world as the dramatic price increases in oil we’ve experienced in 2007 and 2008 have set in motion unprecedented expenditures to explore for hydrocarbons.  Brazil has found new fields offshore that could make Brazil a top 10 producer of oil in world.  So, fear not about these high prices.   Within 5 years we will be back in the $30/barrel range.  It is a cycle that has repeated itself time and time again in the oil industry.  This cycle is no different.  Why?  Because unlike most commodities, the amount of time between stimulus to drill in the form of price increases and when the fruits of those stimuli come into the market is typically is 2-3 years.   So the industry is constantly trying to match price signals with production.  But mark my words, the unprecedented exploration for more hydrocarbons going on around the world today, will begin feeding the worlds insatiable demand for oil in about 3 years, and when that new oil production comes online… it will send prices tumbling.  And the cycle will repeat again as it has done time immemorial and once geologists will be out of work.   I lived through one 2 boom and bust cycles, but not again.

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