HOUSTON -- A group of businessmen and energy experts who believe that global oil production will soon peak, plateau and decline, has issued a $100,000 wager to Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), a prominent oil forecasting think tank.
The group is betting against CERA's June 2007 forecast that world oil production capacity will reach 112 MMb/d by 2017, which extrapolates to 107 MMb/d of actual production, up from about 87 MMb/d today.
"CERA is forecasting an addition of 20 MMbbl within a decade," says Steve Andrews, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA (ASPO-USA). "That's a vision in search of reality. Anything is possible on paper, but we are betting you can't do that with the drill bit."
The 11 members of the betting pool have issued the wager to raise awareness about the fragile state of the world's future oil supplies. Participants include Jeremy Gilbert (former chief petroleum engineer for British Petroleum), Matt Simmons (Houston energy banker), Jean Laherrere (retired oil executive), Herman Franssen (economist), Marvin Gottlieb (businessman), Jim Baldauf (ASPO-USA co-founder), Bob Kanner (investment manager), Scott Pugh (retired Captain U.S. Navy), Aage Figenschou (oil industry, shipping), Randy Udall (ASPO-USA co-founder), and Andrews.
To call the bet, CERA must match the Peak Oil group's $100,000 letter of credit from National City Corp. In the event production in 2017 doesn't exceed CERA's forecast of 107 MMb/d, the individuals of the group have agreed to donate their winnings to an energy-focused non-profit organization.