Sunday, December 17, 2006

Big Oil has dreams too...

I generally eschew referring to the petroleum industry as "Big Oil" although it may be more descriptive than pejorative. And I suppose many would lump me in with "Big Ag" so what's sauce for the goose...

Anyway, for those of wading through the profit potential of renewable fuels, an update on the world as pictured by the people who just happen to bring us almost all of our energy needs here on the farm.
Nobody will accuse ExxonMobil (XOM) of greenwashing. The world's largest oil company released its energy forecast for the year 2030 yesterday and, in contrast to the sunflowers-and-bears imagery promoted by competitors BP (BP) and Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobil predicted a fossil-fuel future marked by skyrocketing oil and gas consumption and soaring greenhouse gases emissions. Dependence on Middle East oil will grow. Not that there's anything wrong with that: "The progress of people around the world is driving demand for more energy," the report states. "We are a world on the move and liquid fuels are essential to meet those demands....By 2030, energy demand will increase by about 60 percent, compared to 2000. The global energy mix will look very similar 25 years from now. Oil, gas and coal will be predominant." [More]
I suspect they may be right. The petroleum industry is not populated with morons or villains. In fact, they believe just as strongly as we do in their work, which is not without its uncertainties either. And they also have plenty of cash to make bets with.

[BTW - if you have not read Marcia Taylor's interview with ex-petroleum exec turned ADM CEO, Patricia Woertz, you should. We may need a "Big Ethanol" label soon.]

I think the latent fear in the alternative fuel industry is those petrodollars are working furiously to a) find new petroleum resources and b) develop technological answers to pollution problems from fossil fuels.

Suppose they succeed? Do we cheer or not?

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