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Vol. 12, No. 20 Week of May 20, 2007
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Oil Patch Insider

The Buckee view of global oil; IOGCC selects Palin

World oil production has peaked, putting an end to the era of cheap energy, says Talisman Energy Chief Executive Officer Jim Buckee, who holds a doctorate in astrophysics from Oxford University.

Give or take a couple of years, it’s a view shared by Texas tycoon T. Boone Pickens and by those working on a theory expounded in 1956 by Shell geologist Marion King Hubbert.

The Buckee theory holds that the bulk of current output comes from fields discovered about half a century ago.

But, rather than advancing an alarmist view, he suggests there will be a gradual plateau, with demand “rationed” by higher prices.

Even with that outlook, Buckee continues to break ranks with his Canadian peers by viewing the Alberta oil sands, Canada’s East Coast offshore and shallow gas as uneconomic.

—Gary Park

IOGCC selects Palin

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission has named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin its 2007-08 chairman-elect.

Following her period as chairman-elect, Palin will become chairman of the IOGCC for 2008-09.

Alaska has been a member of the IOGCC since 1957 and several Alaska governors have chaired the organization over the years, including Steve Cowper, Tony Knowles and Frank Murkowski.

The IOGCC represents the governors of 30 member and seven associate states. Established in 1935, the IOGCC promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of the nation’s oil and gas natural resources while protecting health, safety and the environment.

—Kristen Nelson

International Whaling Commission to meet in Anchorage May 28-31

The 73 member nations of the International Whaling Commission will hold their 59th meeting in Anchorage from May 28-31. A key issue for the meeting will be aboriginal subsistence hunting, the World Wildlife Fund said in a May 17 news release.

The U.S. and the Russian Federation will ask for the renewal of aboriginal subsistence hunting quotas, which were last approved in 2002 for a five-year term. The U.S. will ask that its quota for the aboriginal subsistence hunting of bowhead whales by Native communities in Alaska be renewed. Any amendment with a quota — either aboriginal subsistence quotas, or Japan’s coastal whaling — requires a three-quarters majority.

Another issue for discussion will be non-whaling threats to small cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Scientific whaling will also be discussed at the IWC meeting. (Nations can issue their own permits to kill whales for scientific purposes.)

The “power balance of IWC in flux,” was also listed in the release as a key topic for discussion. “Several new countries have joined since last year’s meeting. Some are believed to have joined in order to support whale conservation but we won’t know for sure until the meeting begins,” the release said.

Last but not least, climate change and whales will be discussed, especially any threats to cetacean species in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. A new report by two cetacean groups will be releases prior to the Anchorage meeting.

—Petroleum News



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