It's the Environment, Stupid.

Friday, March 03, 2006

ExxonMobil refutes peak oil theory with op-ed ad

Found this ExxonMobil ad in the NY Times op-ed page yesterday (in the lower righthand corner, A27 to be specific.) You can check it out here. (It is a pdf file. You really should click on it to get the full effect – it’s got a cartoon/drawing and everything.)

I’ve also included the text below with my comments interjected throughout just for the heck of it:
Will we soon reach a point when the world’s oil supply begins to decline? Yes, according to so-called “peak oil” proponents. They theorize that, since new discoveries have not kept up with the pace of production in recent years, we will soon reach a point when oil production starts going downhill. So goes the theory. (Theories-schmeories.)

The theory does not match reality, however. (Not the ExxonMobil reality anyway.) Oil is a finite resource, but because it is so incredibly large, a peak will not occur this year, next year or for decade to come. (Message: you can still drive your SUV without worrying about gasoline drying up – actually the message is probably more like: PLEASE keep driving your gas guzzling vehicles to keep us in business).

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Earth was endowed with over 3.3 trillion barrels of conventional recoverable oil. (I like their use of ‘endowed’ as if all this oil was a special gift from Earth created specifically for the use of fuel/power - but who is to say it wasn’t?) Conservative estimates of heavy oil and shale oil push the total resource well over four trillion barrels. To put these amounts in perspective, consider this: Since the dawn of human history, we have used a total of about one trillion barrels of oil. (I’d like to see the ratio of how much of that has been used prior to 1900, and then how much has been used in the last century?)

Moreover, new technologies – such as multidimensional mapping tools and advanced drilling techniques – have improved our ability to recover oil from previously discovered fields. (That appears to be fairly stated.) Because of such technology gains, estimates of how much recoverable oil remains have consistently increased (their emphasis – not mine) over time. Oil production and production capacity have increased, too. (Yeah - not to mention oil CONSUMPTION.)

So there is a lot of oil yet to be tapped. (What a relief!) And we are getting better – technically and environmentally – at tapping it every day. (Note: by stating the word “environmentally” at this point it shows they take the environment into consideration.)

As a large scale, broad-based transportation fuel, oil currently has no equal. Demand for it is increasing to support economic growth worldwide. (And if ExxonMobil has their way, these two things will never change.) Thankfully, there is enough potential supply to meet this demand. (Indefinitely right?)

Realizing this potential, however, means we all must do our part. Energy companies help through investment and technology. Governments help by providing an attractive business environment. (There they go using the word environment again – that’s twice!) And we all can help by using energy more efficiently. (Break out the cardigan.)

With abundant oil resources still available – and industry, governments and consumers doing their share – peak production is nowhere in sight. (I repeat, peak production is nowhere in sight, as the illustration explicitly points out, and in case you forgot that was the main point of this propaganda – er, I mean, ad.)


  • Nice commentary Amy. What an amazing piece of spin from Exxon - it sounds like a Simpsons parody!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:59  

  • Bah ! another conspiration theory that nobody belives, Exxonmobil is an honest company after all.

    By Anonymous viagra online, at 12:40  

  • The production has decrease because the demand have increase it in the last 3 years since the recession, that us can't still over pas.

    By Anonymous sildenafil, at 09:43  

  • I was wondering what's up with that weird gravatar??? I know 5am is early and I’m not looking my greatest at that hour, but I hope I don’t look like this! I'd however make that face if I’m requested to do a hundred pushups. lol

    By Anonymous sinus infection remedies, at 22:21  

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