Conference: Energy: The 1st Challenge of the 21st Century

ASPO Week in Houston will consist of four days of high-level energy discussions, including a pre-conference day and post-conference day, daytime and evening presentations, and mix & meet receptions with speakers and sponsors. In addition, they’ve planned field trips to an oil well drilling rig and Refinery Row, our nation’s largest, on the Houston Ship Channel.

Spotlight on Sessions

1) A Peak Oil Dialogue: A World of Plenty or Constraint? In the best tradition of scientific inquiry, two teams of experts will discuss diverging points of view and areas of agreement in a civil conversation exploring the evidence for and against impending Peak Oil. If there are fireworks, we hope they will illuminate the energy challenges before us. Dr. Robert Hirsch will moderate, with Mariano Gurfinkel of the NPC, Mark Gaffigan of the U.S. GAO, and Richard Nehring of Nehring Associates in an expert dialogue with Jeremy Gilbert, Chief Engineer of BP (retired), Roger Bezdek, CEO of MISI, and Randy Udall, Co-founder of ASPO-USA. (Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 pm, following the Reception)

2) Smart Money & Peak Oil — Three sessions on three different days. Mr. T. Boone Pickens: An Interview & Roundtable. Charles T. Maxwell, Senior Energy Analyst, Weeden & Co., will introduce and interview Mr. Pickens, and be joined by Matthew R. Simmons and Henry Groppe for interactive Q&A with audience, (Fri., Oct. 18). Two Sessions with Leslie Haines of Oil & Gas Investor Magazine: Two different panels of experts lead two interactive round-table discussions on investing in conventional and unconventional energy sources. (Wed., Oct. 17, 1:30-5 pm, and Sat., Oct. 20, 8:30 am to noon)

ASPO Week in Houston features: Houston Mayor Bill White (former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy), Mr. T. Boone Pickens (pioneer Texas oilman), Bob Hirsch (co-author of the groundbreaking Hirsch-Bezdek Report to DOE), Peter Tertzakian (author of "A Thousand Barrels a Second"), Matthew Simmons, (author of "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock"), Henry Groppe of Groppe, Long & Littell, Arthur L. Smith (Houston business leader), U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD.-tentative), Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones of the Texas Railroad Commission, Chris Skrebowski of London’s Energy Institute, Charles Maxwell of Weeden & Co., David Hughes of the Canadian Geological Survey, Jeremy Gilbert of Barrelmore Ltd. (and recently retired Chief Petroleum Engineer for BP), Professor Peter Bishop of the University of Houston; Stuart Staniford of The Oil Drum; Richard Nehring of Nehring Associates; Roger Duncan, Director of Austin Energy’s "Plug-in Partners Program" (who will bring a Toyota Plug-in Hybrid to the Conference); and Tom Whipple, Columnist of Falls Church News and ASPO-USA’s Peak Oil Review and Peak Oil Daily News.

Peak Oil experts don’t claim that we will "run out of oil," but that we’ll run out of cheap oil, as production decreases and demand increases. They note that below-ground limitations and above-ground disruptions could create a perfect storm of constraint, as rapid depletion of major oil fields continues to fuel resource nationalism, geopolitical turmoil, and rising oil & gas prices.

The deniers of Peak Oil say that technology, new discoveries, "reserves growth" and unconventional oil will come to the rescue. If their optimistic predictions are wrong, we are in deep trouble; if the Peak Oil experts are wrong, we will have conserved and mitigated ahead of schedule. ASPO-USA says the latter prudent and conservative approach is the path we must take as a nation.

Professor Peter Bishop of the University of Houston’s Future Studies Program will conduct a conference session to explore scenarios of Peak Oil impacts on the City of Houston, the intelligent responses to mitigate these impacts, and the needed steps going forward to preserve the city’s position as "Energy Capital of the World."

The Houston Conference agenda will feature technical sessions on Reserves and Production; Substitute Fuels; Peak Oil & Climate Change; Peak Oil Reports from the GAO, National Petroleum Council, and AAPG; a Natural Gas/LNG Update; a Net Energy Update; Mitigation Scenarios; Smart Policy Initiatives (local, state & national); and Smart Money & Investment in the Age of Peak Oil.