Matt Simmons Dies

SUBHEAD: An energy entrepenuer and leading voice on the subject of Peak Oil, died on Sunday.

By Josh Garrett on 10 August 2010 for Heating Oil -  

Image above: Matt Simmons at his vacation home in Maine. Photo by Michael Lewis from article.  

Matthew Simmons, a successful businessman in energy industry and one of the most vocal and respected defenders of Peak Oil theory died suddenly on Sunday at the age of 67.

Will the world run out of accessible crude oil in the foreseeable future? For Simmons and other adherents to Peak Oil, the clear answer is yes.

For the last two decades, Simmons declared that Peak Oil is a reality the world must come to grips with or face dire consequences, a sentiment he expressed in March of this year in an interview on the Financial Sense News Hour (’s Zoe Macintosh quoted extensively from the interview in her article on a secret energy meeting in the UK).

Many voices in the energy industry denounce Peak Oil talk as alarmist kookiness, but Simmons’ education and experience in the oil industry gave him unmatched credibility on the issue and quickly elevated him to the status of the unofficial leader of the Peak Oil movement.

After graduation from Harvard Business School, Simmons became a money manager for wealthy individuals.

After helping a client get into the rapidly expanding offshore oil drilling business in the 1970s, Simmons moved to Houston and founded his own energy company, Simmons & Co., with his brother, the Houston Chronicle reported.

From there, Simmons worked tirelessly in the oil industry, helping companies weather the uncertain energy landscape of the 1980s.

By the 2000s, Simmons’ credibility in the industry helped land him a job as an energy advisor to President George W. Bush.

In 2005, Simmons Published Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, a book in which he argued that the oil reserve and oil production estimates of Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing nations were wildly overstated and that Peak Oil was just around the corner.

While this position was and is largely dismissed by the world energy establishment, many of Simmons’ beliefs have attracted some notable supporters.

 Last November, a whistle blower inside the International Energy Agency claimed that the international body deliberately exaggerated world oil supplies to avoid global panic.

Simmons made a major investment to back up his bleak views on the future of oil by founding the Ocean Energy Institute in 2007 to investigate ways to reap renewable energy from the ocean.

Bold predictions and great conviction of his beliefs characterized Simmons’ public life. In 2007, he correctly predicted that the price of crude would surpass $100 per barrel the following year (it hit an all-time high of $147 a barrel in July 2008).

More recently, Simmons harshly criticized BP for the Gulf oil spill and incorrectly forecast that the company would go bankrupt paying for the cleanup.

While Simmons’ controversial statements on Peak Oil and other energy topics will likely be debated for years to come, his status as an influential firebrand in the energy industry cannot be questioned.

Matthew Simmons died at his vacation home in Maine on August 8. He is survived by his wife Ellen and their five daughters.

See also: Ea O Ka Aina: What if Matt Simmons is right? 7/19/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Imminent Crash of Oil Supply 4/24/10



Anonymous said...

Three of good videos on this:

Simmons interview shortly before he was found dead:

About the *2 wells* at the spill site:

About how Simmons might have died:

Anonymous said...

Be sure to watch the *2 well* video to the end...

Correction on the link for how Simmons might have died:

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