R.I.P. Dr. Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari

November 23, 2007 at 3:01 pm
Contributed by:


News is just reaching the peak oil world that Dr. Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari, former senior expert to the Iranian national oil company and a member of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre passed away last month at the age of 61. At this point I have found no information on the cause of death, or why it took three weeks for the news to reach us.

As my longtime readers know, he was one of my very favorite commentators, with a deep understanding of petroleum geology and a fine capacity for insight and the well-turned phrase. I shall greatly miss his contributions to the world dialogue on energy.

For those who aren’t aware of his work, here are a few things to explore.

Dr. Ali Bakhtiari’s Four Phases of Transition

Other GRL ariticles mentioning his comments

A “personal clarification” on his affiliation with the peak oil community at his Web site

A thread on TheOilDrum about it.

A short 2004 commentary on himself from here:

Dear Barbara,

First and foremost, thank you for your best wishes for the future of Iran and the very brave Iranian people. They deserve it.

Secondly, allow me to correct a misconception: I am not an eminent NIOC personality. The present company officials simply detest me (all of ‘them’) and are doing their utmost to have me quit (after 33 years of service, mainly not to pay me my final bonus and retirement); they certainly couldn’t care less about ‘peak oil’ — and this is as far I can go in a public forum. I leave it to your imagination to envision the rest…

1) I really don’t know how it came about that I am the only OPEC (and Middle Eastern) expert on
‘peak oil’. Certainly neither political leaders nor company officials ever guided or encouraged me unto this path (to the contrary). I kind of stumbled on Dr. Campbell’s work in 1995 (his days at PetroConsultants) and since … I have come all this long way (thanks mainly to the Internet). I still have to take from my personal yearly leave of absence and find a sponsor in order to be able attend international conferences. I finance part of my research out of “Letter from Tehran” income.

2) I really don’t know why I am so singular within OPEC (although I am not a very common individual, with a eventful past). Maybe the others are told to shut up and do so for their own good (and benefits). I will always speak out.

Well, I hope you were able to read between the lines, because although none of ‘them’ speaks or reads English, someone (among the Western puppet-masters) might call ‘them’ to attention. Now, the seemingly apparent contradictions might be beginning to make some sense.”

Radio interview on Invest Express

November 12, 2007 at 2:29 pm
Contributed by: Chris


I did another interview with the Invest Express radio talk show on the Business TalkRadio network today. We discussed oil prices, the recent high stock valuations in the solar sector, and the new “Tupi” offshore oil discovery in Brazil.

You can download the interview here.


Peak Oil on the History Channel

November 8, 2007 at 9:48 am
Contributed by:


You might want to tune in for a peak oil documentary on the History Channel next Tuesday night. This might be the first time that a real peak oil documentary has made it to a mainstream cable channel.

What Happens When Demand for Oil Outstrips Supply? … and There’s No ‘Plan B’

Source: PRNewswire PRESS RELEASE

Publication date: 2007-11-07

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ — This week, the price of crude oil is trading at a shocking $96 a barrel. By year’s end, analysts predict petroleum will reach $100. And it’s not going to stop there. The world we’ve created runs on oil. But energy experts say the world is running out of oil. Much faster than previously thought. Demand will continue to outpace supplies, shortages are inevitable, and the price will only continue to rise dramatically — causing a ripple effect of disastrous economic, social and political consequences.

On Tuesday night, November 13th, (at 11 p.m. EST/PST – 10 p.m. CST), the History Channel will present Megadisasters: Oil Apocalypse, a documentary that Los Angeles-based filmmaker Martin Kent is calling “a wake up call,” about the world’s energy crisis. “We can no longer count on getting all the gasoline we need — and there’s no plan B.”

By “plan B,” Kent is referring to a coordinated system of alternative energies laid out in his film, that could replace our addiction and dependence on oil, if society mobilizes quickly to make it happen. It’s long been known that oil is a finite, non-renewable resource, that pollutes the environment, and now mankind is coming to realize that it is also most likely causing climate change. With China and India rapidly industrializing, creating an energy-hungry middle class, demand for oil will increase from the world’s current consumption of 84 million barrels a day, to 100 million barrels within the next 5 years. Unfortunately, while oil producers and refiners are scrambling to develop new techniques and sources of production, as yet there are no sure means to meet the growing demand.

Oil Apocalypse presents a terrifying set of scenarios. True to the laws of supply and demand, we are fast approaching the breaking point, when the imbalance could destabilize the economies and infrastructures of virtually every nation on the planet. The worst-case scenario, say experts in the film, is a worldwide depression, which could lead to a world war. Still, they say it’s not too late. But we have to act fast. Says Kent: “My hope is that upon seeing this film, everyone will be inspired to become an energy activist — instead of sitting back and hoping that the scientists and leaders will somehow pull everything together and fix this in the eleventh hour. The time to act is now.”

Energy experts appearing on camera in Oil Apocalypse include authors Richard Heinberg, Matthew Simmons, David Goodstein, Kenneth Deffeyes, Michael Economides and Christine Woodside; Oppenheimer energy analyst Fadel Gheit, PFC Energy chairman J. Robinson West, RAND Corp.’s James Bartis and U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Megadisasters: Oil Apocalypse is a Creative Differences, Inc. production.

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