Sunday, February 03, 2008

Weeden Oil Analyst Charles Maxwell on Moneytalk.

Last night, Charles Maxwell, senior energy analyst at Weeden and Co., was again a guest on Bob Brinker's Moneytalk radio show.

[You can listen to this show for the next 6 days at KGO-AM 810 radio here.]

There wasn't a lot of new stuff in the discussion, but a caller asked him to project oil prices going forward and his new projections are incrementally higher than they were in the past. (Some prior projections from 2005 are here.)

Mr. Maxwell projected that oil prices could fall for a little while, perhaps getting as low as the $70's area, but then would continue in their relentless uptrend due to the peaking of world oil production, which he believes will happen around 2013-2015.

His price projections:

2008 - average of $80 a barrel
2009 - high $80 to $90 range
2015 - $180
2020 - $300

Again, he believes the peak in oil production will fall around the 2013 - 2015 time frame, with perhaps a 2 year plateau, and then we begin a downward trend in oil production.

He spoke briefly about how we will cope with this issue, and he suggested we find our way through via a combination of efficiency/conservation and alternative forms of energy production (natural gas, clean coal, uranium, etc), but he also felt that energy in the future will be "much, much more expensive".

Bob Brinker has increasingly caught up with the issue of peak oil in the past few years. A couple of weeks ago he had on a former professor from Berkeley, Bill Wattenburg, who believes we must urgently begin a program of building nuclear power plants to be able to shift natural gas from power generation to transportation, as well as to avoid some of the serious downsides to burning coal. (You can read more on this here.)