Weekend: ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 9, 2010

Welcome to the Wealth Daily Weekend Edition — our insights from the week in investing and links to our most-read Wealth Daily and sister publication articles.

This weekend, the 6th annual Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas Conference will take place in Washington, D.C.

Attendees will have the chance to rub elbows with respected peak oil experts and listen to a panel of international speakers who will discuss the complex socioeconomic and geopolitical impacts of peak oil on economies and the future of energy.

Among the distinguished conference guests who will gather on Capitol Hill are former CIBC Chief Economist Jeff Rubin, former Secretary of Energy James Schlesinger, policy expert Ralph Nader, and climate and energy advocate Bianca Jagger.

A host of peak oil scientists will be joined by U.S. Representative Roscoe Bartlett, and energy analysts, including Dr. Bob Hirsch, Dr. Roger Bezdek, and Charlie Maxwell.

This meeting will, no doubt, clear up any misunderstanding of peak oil — something I’ve written about several times over the last few weeks, as I am hell-bent on clearing up the general misunderstanding among my readers and the public about peak oil (here, here, and here).cramer2

A conference such as this one should be a pre-requisite — a 101 class for the handful of anti-peak hacks that can’t tell the difference between easy-to-get-to and hard-to-get-to oil.

Jim Cramer might find a conference like this worthwhile.

He simultaneously doesn’t “subscribe” to the Peak Oil Theory (his own words), yet defines it at the same time:

“We’re not running out of oil at all. We’re just running out of oil that is easy to find and easy to get at. There are vast reservoirs, vast, far more than we need for multiple years. It’s just not where we want it. So I don’t subscribe to Peak Oil theory. What I do subscribe to is the cost of oil is going to be so much higher that the cost of oil is never going to come back below $40 ever again.”

It’s true that we have a couple trillion barrels here in the United States. There are 500 billion barrels in Orinoco tar sands, and another 170 billion in the Alberta tar sands.

But no one ever said we were running out of oil… It’s just getting increasingly harder and more expensive to find and extract.

When oil fell to $40 a barrel and the prices at the pump went down, we all cheered. But you won’t get much oil out of the pump at $40 a barrel.

Heck, you can’t expect the average oil company to pull crude out of the ground that cheap.

Look at what happened to the Alberta tar patch when oil plunged… More than $50 billion of investment was pulled almost overnight. 

Just to pull oil from the Canadian oil sands can cost up to $70 to $80 a barrel. Deep water drilling efforts can run $50 to $60 a barrel. 

Futuretalk on Capitol Hill

The conference aims to build awareness of an energy crisis and the reality of our livelihoods, economy, and national military in a world without an ever-flowing source of cheap sweet crude.

“Petroleum is being consumed four times faster than it is being discovered. It’s time for the government and society to recognize the crisis. Immediate, bold action is required in the areas of conservation, mass transit, new technologies and lifestyle changes,” according to the conference press release.

You can find more information and registration details about this three-day event here.

As always, below are the week’s best profit ideas from the pages of Wealth Daily and Energy and Capital.

Ian L. Cooper
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