20 October 2005

Orrin Hatch - honorary hoser

Check out this post, in which United States Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah) claims that Canada will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil storehouse.

Then check the text of Hatch's speech, from his senatorial website and find out exactly what he actually said:

"We should take note that our major oil companies, including Chevron and ExxonMobil, are beginning to state publicly that we may be reaching peak oil. And with the economic growth in India and Asia and other regions, it looks like weÂ’ll have high oil prices into the foreseeable future.

This is a new scenario for the world, and it forces us to shift our focus to our unconventional resources. Shell Oil Company has, for years, been preparing for such a shift. Its successful activities in Alberta with oil sands and their investment in new technologies to produce oil from oil shale are a testimony to ShellÂ’s recognition that unconventional oil is in our future.

Those who doubt that unconventional fuels are economically viable probably are suffering from a neck ailment that keeps them from looking north.

The 800-pound gorilla is sitting just above Montana, and let'’s face it, it'’s hard to miss.

Alberta is now second only to Saudi Arabia in proven oil reserves and ninth in the world in annual oil production. This is owing mostly to their successful development of oil sands. In Alberta, you have dozens of major oil companies, using a variety of technologies and recovery methods, going after very different types of oil sands resources, and in almost every case doing so for less than $20 a barrel, including during their very tough winters. It is a gigantic success story, and it began with Alberta'’s government deciding to promote the development of this resource and not giving up.

Anyone watching what is happening up north will recognize that, before long, Canada will inevitably overtake Saudi Arabia as the world'’s oil giant. And Alberta clearly has its sights on increased annual production to match its growing reserve. Already at about a million barrels a day, Alberta'’s production is expected to double in the next five or six years."

Notice that the gentlemen Senator did not mention offshore eastern Canada in the speech.

Maybe he has just been lobbied hard about Alberta. Maybe Hatch just knows about Alberta because his own state also has large oil sands reserves.

It is still interesting to see Canada noticed in this way by an influential senator.