Monday, August 9, 2010

'Peak Oil' Theory Advocate Matt Simmons Dies

Matt Simmons, a prominent oil investor who argued the world was rapidly approaching peak oil production capacity, died suddenly on Sunday at his home in North Haven, Maine. Simmons, 67 years old, founded Simmons & Co. International, an investment bank that caters to energy companies, in 1974.

More recently, Simmons had retired to devote his time to the Ocean Energy Institute, a group he founded to research and develop energy from wind and tidal sources.

In his 2005 book "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy," Simmons drew attention to the unreliability of Middle East oil reserves, arguing that the nation's oil reserves were nearing their highest levels of production.

Simmons' views on "peak oil" have long be considered controversial as have his recent statements regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Simmons, who served as an energy advisor to President George W. Bush, asserted earlier this summer, that he expected BP would need to file for bankruptcy protection in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident.


I have included a documentary called "A Crude Awakening" from 2007 that features Simmons, and my own local Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. You'll have to sort out the facts from the propaganda according to your own tastes.

My own personal, unscientific view is that we have not hit peak oil yet in the world, though it is coming within the next 10 - 25 years. Today's efforts to produce energy from solar and wind-power have a ways to go before they can replace oil. To my way of thinking, natural gas is the bridge energy source source to buy time until solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells and nuclear fusion is ready for mass energy production.


  1. Wow! If he could have lived another 15 years he could have assessed the validity of his theory. It is interesting to me that the economy is responding to expensive energy- there are a lot of "funny looking" cars on the road. Makes one feel as if he's in Europe.
    Years ago I read "The Prize" by Yergin and got an understanding of the importance of oil to the history of the world since 1860. There are few people who knew the oil industry like he did so his view needs to be taken seriously.

  2. I never understood why anyone would buy a Hummer, unless it was out of sheer vanity and money was no object. I'm still waiting for the car that gets 100 - 200 miles per gallon as long as it doesn't look like a match box toy. Smart cars don't seem to pass the crash test, but if something can be manufactured that looks like a Civic and gets 100 mpg, I'll be in line to buy it.

    I've read numerous article that credit much of increase in the world's wealth and standard of living to the widespread use of oil. Without a viable energy replacement our kids, grandkids and great grandkids might not enjoy the standard of living we have.