In your Homecoming speech this month, you said that the “peak oil” era is coming to an end, which sounds ominous. Can you tell us what you mean?
The best way is a quote from Cambridge engineer researcher associate Dan Yergin. “It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil, and we'll use the next trillion in 30.”
That defines in my mind the issue we're facing, but there is a huge debate going on between basically two schools of thought. One is the Cambridge Energy Research Association's thought, which is that we have plenty of oil in the world, and we are good at developing technology. In spite of the fact that energy information agencies are forecasting we will be using another 30 million plus barrels a day of oil in the world between now and 2030, and technology will find a way to do that. That's one school of thought.
Another school of thought says we are at the maximum point of producability, and so it's decline from here on down. That's the “peak oil” theory.
If you look at production in North America or any of these mature basins, or even production from the Williston Basin, you'll see a demonstration what “peak oil” looks like. When you deal with a finite resource, you can develop it, produce it and keep increasing it up to a point. Then, once you go past the mid-way point, you're into decline.