Every year in August there is a weeklong event — “The Oil & Gas Conference” in Denver, and it draws an international audience. By most accounts, EnerCom is the best on the schedule.
This year 107 companies made presentations. If I were only allowed to hear one presentation and attend one breakout session, it would be Core Labs — hands down.
“The maximum yearly oil production of the planet is taking place now!” That came from the CEO of a Netherlands-based company that has 70 offices in 50 countries worldwide. Their business is analyzing drilling results for all major, and 100s of smaller companies in the global energy finding industry. Annual revenues are $1 billion.
The company, Core Labs (CLB $155), has a unique view of the big picture few could envision. As a byproduct of their normal business activities, CLB scientists accumulate data about the current production of all major oil and gas basins on the planet.
While an exploration company is drilling, CLB analyzes “down hole” rock samples and estimates the probability of finding oil and gas below. After a field is producing, CLB helps the well operators to extract the maximum amount of hydrocarbons from the reservoir. Information that extensive about all the major energy basins in 50 countries is a unique collection of data.
Never very bashful in the breakout session, CEO Dave Demshur readily offered his thoughts about the big energy picture. When queried about predictions of increased oil production he took the under in most cases.
Demshur is a “peak oil” proponent — translated it means that at some point the oil production of the planet will maximize, flatten, and then diminish. For the first time I can recall, he said we have reached the peak area.
He estimates planetary oil production in 2014, 2015, and maybe 2016 to be at the peak level we shall ever be able to generate. When asked about future oil independence here in the US, he just smiled — and added “no chance”.