03 June 2008

You can't have it both ways

Get real, Conoco tells public

If North Americans want to continue to enjoy their quality of life, they will have to allow energy development, John Lowe, evp at Conoco-Phillips, said yesterday. Many are opposed to oil and gas activity because they see it as contributing to climate change, or because they don't like any kind of development, but they fail to recognize that energy is the foundation of their high standard of living, he said.

"There are choices that we make in this world, and we need to make informed choices," he said yesterday before addressing the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. The Houston-based executive was in Alberta as part of a push by the oil company to raise public awareness about the challenge of meeting growing world energy demand, at a time when the debate seems to be focused on climate change. (National Post, Edmonton Journal 080603)

'Revolution' needed to curb energy appetite

An "energy revolution" to cut demand is necessary to combat the world's third energy crisis in 35 years, the head of the International Energy Agency said Monday.

IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka said the current oil price shock is unique because demand has remained robust despite prices climbing to $135 a barrel two weeks ago. In contrast, global consumption fell after the 1973 Arab oil embargo and the Iranian revolution of 1979 as countries turned to more energy-efficient transportation and power plants.

"We are in a third energy crisis," he said during the Reuters Global Energy Summit. "Our response should be an energy revolution. We have to change dramatically the demand side by efficiency and new technologies." The IEA sees an increase in world oil demand this year as consumption in emerging economies outweighs a slowdown in the US and Europe.

"In China, India the Middle East, demand is very, very robust. We haven't seen any indication that there is a slowdown," he said. In the IEA's outlook report last month, the adviser to 27 industrialized nations forecast global demand will rise by 1.03 million barrels per day. But that is down significantly from its estimates a year ago, due to the economic slowdown in the US.

Tanaka has urged industrialized countries to speed up plans to boost automobile fuel efficiency standards, improve efficiency of power plants and take hard action on heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Even with these changes, he said oil prices were likely to remain at historically high levels because of a variety of factors, including limited spare capacity and stock levels. "Oil prices may not easily go back to the level of two, three years ago, probably that is very unlikely," he said.(Calgary Herald 080603)

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