CNN breaks rank with Other Mainstream News Outlets

Julian Darley

31 Dec 2004
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In its October 13, 2004 story 'Pump Pain Politics', CNN Headline News and CNN Financial News have broken rank with mainstream television news by addressing the real geological driver behind rising oil and gas prices. Julian Darley, Post Carbon Institute, is featured, as well as nationally known political analyst Professor Larry Sabato, Center for Politics (UVa).

Although CNN did not explicitly broadcast the words "peak oil", they did lead the story with Julian Darley saying there is a "geological thrust" to higher oil and gasoline prices. The interview with Julian from which the clip was taken lasted half an hour, and the CNN reporter, Louise Schiavone, seemed genuinely and strongly interested in hearing about the deeper causes of the oil and gas crisis.

So it seems that we are getting closer to peak oil being a mainstream concept. The broadcasting of "geological thrust", which itself is code for oil peak, is a good step forward in itself since almost no one in mainstream television news ever says the word geology when talking about oil. As you know they just keep talking about markets, tightness, and terror premiums.

In another development, industry heavyweight journal, Energy Intelligence (energyintel.com), almost said oil peak the other day, but not quite:

"Is oil already entrenched above $50? Prices held above that level Friday, after setting a bunch of new record highs during the week. There seems no escaping the reality that high prices are here to stay, whether you put it down to supply worries, surging demand, thin spare capacity or any of the other explanations doing the rounds."

We need to adamantly convey that supply is geologically constrained and that we are not going to find much more oil now.

Take a look at this article from one of Canada’s national newspapers:
Talisman Energy prepares to sharpen its drill bits: Former corporate raider sees future in exploration

In it, the chief of Talisman Energy, Jim Buckee, makes this astonishing admission:

Those who believe that abundant deposits are waiting to be discovered are misguided, said Mr. Buckee, who holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Oxford University. "There is precious little in the world now that isn't known about or hasn't been tried," he said. "I don't think there is going to be any new Middle Easts or Saudis hanging around. There aren't many unexplored basins."

In case you don't have time to read the article, here is the takeaway: there isn't much left to find, the major oil companies don't want to go wasting money on dry holes - the only drilling they want to increase is production drilling, which makes them money, and lots of it with $50+ oil.

But that will only ensure that the crunch comes even harder and in a more vicious form.

Post Carbon's Key Geology-based Petroleum Talking Points
- Global Oil Discovery peaked in 1964
- Recent discovery has been very poor
- Since 1981 we have been using more oil than we find
- This can only continue for a limited time
- It looks like we are reaching the limit to production growth now
- That limit will be followed by decline