Sunday, April 27, 2008

BP's Petroleum Exploration and Production Presentation

NOTE: I neither agree with nor forward any Peak Oil argument's I have seen and yes I've read several books on the subject and have had hundreds of heated conversations with experts on the topic of Peak Oil.

From a BP Press Release footnote explaining the basis of statements made about sugar cane ethanol I followed over to a set of interesting information at BP's global site.

At the site there was a host of interesting stuff to look at. Unfortunately time in life is limited so I just skimmed through and struck on what I hoped would be a really interesting presentation. You know, the type of presentation I can skim slides from to make myself look really smart in my own presentations.

I was looking for Powerpoint slides about hydrocracking, catalytic reforming, and heavy tar sands, oil shale, and producing sweet crude from abandoned wells with new bleeding edge technology. But that isn't what I found.

I found instead a very weak presentation about how BP is running out of oil and that it's spending more and more to access harder to get to crude.

The Future of Exploration and Production
by Tony Hayward the CEO of Exploration and Production at BP

What really caught my eye in this presentation wasn't the profound information. This being normal for technical slides about a complex subject such as oil exploration. What caught my eye here was the basic lack of explanation beyond simple statements. All I could think about was how a good friend of mine, Randy White (who lives, eats, and breaths peak oil) would think after seeing this presentation.

He would see this presentation as conclusive proof that the world has run out of oil and major oil companies have no strategy for how the world will meet its energy needs.

Now below shows their reserves and the development. It shows the general large strikes BP made in the Middle East, the Alaskan North Slope fields BP has to its credit, and also that recently the main development has been by acquisitions of the late 1990's.

Then comes the next technical slide from the presentation. A "Lifecycle of a Basin" or the reality that given current oil prices an oil well becomes to expensive to extract oil from after roughly 25 years.

Look above and do some fifth grade math. Oil supplies held by BP are declining beyond their acquisition of new fields developed by other other oil companies.

Now at this point I would encourage BP to talk about proprietary technology. That the future of their exploration and production would be based on BP being better at extraction than any other player. The fact maybe that even though the easy oil isn't quite so easy any more at above $60 or $100 a barrel it was a new world for their BP.


This is what BP's CEO of exploration puts up next. These simple statements which are almost a joke. If Saturday Night Live did a skit about oil exploration no doubt these would be the bullet statements they would put up to garner a laugh.

Find new oil deposits. Be the first there. And focus on finding the biggest find possible.

Wow, quite profound statements.
It reminds me of slides we all saw from Dot.Com operations a decade ago.

Okay. This slide is pretty cool simply because it's got cool pictures.

But from the perspective of a Huber's Peak worshiping Hilbroner reading 'Peak Oiler' like my friend Randy this slide only convinces one thing.

Their statement would be simple "See no oil left to find."

BP presentation on exploration and production does little to convince even those who know alot about Peak Oil but haven't bought into it as a reality that there is a supply of cheap crude oil in the world left untapped.

If I was a journalist who saw three less than credible presentations on Peak Oil and then saw this presentation from one of the largest energy players in the world I would no doubt side with Peak Oil having something to it.

For all of BP's investment in outside the box energy development. It's focus on gaining more crude from the same old holes in the Earth, there was nothing to point to this beyond the fact that exploration for big finds is compeletly off-shore deeper than ever.

1 comment:

Carpool Crew said...

to say I told you so. I was in the garden all day today... something sexy about raking the soil... it's like running your claws down Mother Nature's back.