Oil costs must keep rising. Wanna bet?, by John Tierney of The New York Times [2005 August 25]
"I don’t share Matthew Simmons’ angst, but I admire his style. He is that rare doomsayer who puts his money where his doom is. After reading his prediction, quoted Sunday in the cover story of The New York Times Magazine, that oil prices will soar into the triple digits, I called to ask if he’d back his prophecy with cash. Without a second’s hesitation, he agreed to bet me $5,000."
Matthew R. Simmons: A Diminished Future for Saudi Oil, Part Two in our series on the coming crisis of oil politics and production shortages, Interviewed by Jim Motavalli eMagazine [2005 May/June]
"Matthew R. Simmons: don't count on Saudi oil.
Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.
"Simmons, chairperson and chief executive of the energy-oriented Simmons & Company International investment bank in Houston, is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He writes, based on considerable research, that "Saudi Arabian oil production is at or very near its peak sustainable volume (if it did not, in fact peak almost 25 years ago), and is likely to go into decline in the very foreseeable future [emphasis in the original]. There is only a small probability that Saudi Arabia will ever deliver the quantities of petroleum that are assigned to it in all the major forecasts of world oil production and consumption."
"The most critical question facing the world energy market is whether Saudi Arabia can substantially increase its oil production to meet rising world demand in the years ahead. Sparked by personal observations of Saudi oil wells which led him to suspect that some Saudi fields were in decline, Matt Simmons has created a compelling case that Saudi Arabia production will soon reach an apex, after which its production will decline and the world will be confronted with an immense and potentially catastrophic oil shortage. The factual basis of the book is over 200 technical papers published over the last 20 years which individually detail problems with particular wells or particular fields, but which collectively demonstrate that the entire Saudi oil system is “old and fraying.” Based on his analysis, Mr. Simmons asserts that sudden and sharp oil production declines could happen at any time. Even under the most optimistic scenario, Saudi Arabia may be able to maintain current rates of production for several years, but will not be able to increase production enough to meet the expected increase in world demand. Eventually, the reckoning day will come and the world economy will be confronted with a major shock that will stunt economic growth, increase inflation, and potentially destabilize the Middle East.
The book is written in a concise and engaging style, providing background on Saudi Arabia, the oil industry, world oil market, and the management of the Saudi oil resources. Mr. Simmons addresses technical issues about oil production in a clear, interesting style, providing documentation but not losing the reader in details The book is written with a strong focus and passion, and the overall sense is of a behind-the-scenes expose, akin to a 60 minutes investigative piece."
From Editorial Reviews, Product Description, Amazon.com
See also a transcript of an interview with Matt Simmons on the subject of the book.
Presentations on Peak Oil by Matt Simmons at Simmons International website
Streaming Audio [2003 February 10]