Friday, May 21, 2004

Oil - The preferred drug of the American Public

Today, for the first time ever, Charles Krauthammer wrote something I agree with. Generally I consider him to be the worst of the worst in terms of political hackery. (OK, maybe not the worst of the worst, but definitely close to the bottom. I mean Ann Coulter is really in a class by herself). Today, however, the doctors treating Charles Krauthammer actually found some kind of medication that calmed his extreme form of psychosis long enough to write his column. I strongly suspect that this medication was a one-time wonder, and he will be back to writing his normal deluded swill in no time.

His column today was about what is driving oil prices, and I had to go check to make sure my own medications and dosages were correct because I agreed with almost every word.

I work for a major oil company - one that anyone reading this has heard of, and many of you may have used my company's name at the end of a long string of epithets (no it is not Halliburton). My job is such that I get to review the details of a very large number of opportunities that we have on the drawing board for bringing new oil to market. The opportunities that I review are literally in the four corners of the globe and in environments and situations that most people in their right minds would just shake their heads at due the difficulties (both technical, political, and economic) in pulling these projects off. Let me tell you people, the future is scary. There is no easy oil left. I just shake my head and wonder, not only about the future of my company, but the future of the world economy that's life blood is oil.

Why the hell do you think we are in Iraq - it ain't about WMD's, or Al Qaeda, or freeing the Iraqi people. In addition, demand is growing at a tremendous pace - not here, but in China and India.

My analogy is a person climbing up a down-going escalator. Available supply is represented by the person climbing. Each step he climbs represents the discovery and development of a new source of oil. Demand and consumption is represented by the escalator descending. That person has not been making much headway in going up that escalator, and it keeps decending faster and faster. In fact, that person is getting older and awfully tired. Pretty soon we will be at a situation where the person keeps taking steps, but starts heading in an overall and inexorable downward trend.

No matter how much money, help, and resources are given to the climber, he will not be able to climb any faster than he is already going. The only way to change the trend is to slow the escalator down - i.e. conserve and use less.

So get rid of that Hummer and buy yourself a Prius. And get off your butt!!!

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