Peak Oil (Hubbert's Peak)  

Posted by Kevin in

After a long while, I've decided to write a post for this long-neglected blog. One of the topics that we don't talk about much in Malaysia is "peak oil".

"Peak oil" is based on the theory formed by M. King Hubbert, a geoscientist who worked at the Shell research lab in Houston, Texas. (Source: Wikipedia entry on M King Hubbert)

In simple words, "peak oil" refers to that point in time when the production of oil in a certain area starts to decline. The production of oil in that region would follow a bell-shaped curve. (Source: Wikipedia entry on Hubbert peak theory) In other words, after production has "peaked", it becomes more difficult to produce oil.

In other words, the "peak" in peak oil refers to the peak predicted by Hubbert's theory, i.e. the top of the bell-shaped curve.

The theory is applicable to resources other than oil. Simply explained, production of oil follows the bell-shaped curve predicted by Hubbert's theory because:

a) in the early stages, the production rate of oil increases due to the discovery rate and the addition of infrastructures; and

b) at the late stages, the production rate of oil falls due to the depletion of resources. (Source: Wikipedia entry on Hubbert peak theory)

The Hubbert theory is applicable to "high grade" oil. It is not concerned with oil that is difficult to mine, but applies to oil that is easily obtained without much difficulty. (The truth is that mankind will continue to mine for oil, even in the deep sea, even with increasing costs, and even if there is a crisis of shortage -- or perhaps because of such shortages.)

A professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, Prof. Kjell Alekletts, was interviewed recently in the September 2012 edition of the university newsletter. (Source) It happened that his latest book, "Peeking at Peak Oil", was on the topic of peak oil. One of the things he said in that interview was, "The problems have to be taken seriously. We need to alter our entire lifestyle. The slowdown in oil production is one of the causes of the economic problems we are facing in Europe." Professor Aleklett's blog can be found here.

(This article will stop here for now, and be continued later....)

Tan Sri Hassan Marican Gets Singapore Job  

Posted by Kevin in , ,

Dear Reader,

Until 2010, Petronas, Malaysia's state-owned petrol company, was helmed by Tan Sri Hassan Marican. After having left Petronas, Tan Sri Hassan was appointed to Singapore's Sembcorp Industries on that same year. Recently, The Malaysian Insider reported that Tan Sri Hassan Marican has been appointed to the board of several Singapore government-linked companies and will be appointed to head Singapore Power Limited (SP) in June this year.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Ex-Petronas CEO Tan Sri Hassan Marican is set to become chairman of Singapore Power Limited (SP) in June succeeding Ng Kee Choe who will retire on June 12, according to Energy Asia. The news portal that focuses on the energy industry reported this yesterday, citing the island republic’s utility giant.

Marican, who left the national oil company at the beginning of 2010 allegedly due to friction with the Najib administration, has been accepting directorships with several foreign firms in the energy sector.

Among them are Singapore government-linked companies including SembCorp Industries Limited, SembCorp Marine Limited and Singapore Power, which he joined on February 15, 2011. He is also a director at Sarawak Energy Berhad and US oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips
(Source: The Malaysian Insider, Ex-Petronas Chief to Helm Singapore Power Giant. 15th February 2012. URL:

In response, the opposition Member of Parliament and Chief Minister of Penang, Mr Lim Guan Eng, has called upon the government to take proactive measures to prevent future loss of talent. "Talent such as Tan Sri Hassan Marican does not come by every day, and our government must take immediate measures to plug this leak in order to retain such talent or risk losing him and many more like him to overseas countries," said Mr Lim. "Clearly, so long as political know-who supersedes technical know-how, negotiated deals are preferred to open tenders and there is neither full accountability nor transparency, Malaysia is fighting a losing battle to stem the brain drain." (Source: The Malaysian Insider, Guan Eng: Hassan Marican’s Singapore jobs ‘sad day for Malaysia’. 16th February 2012. URL:

I have never met Tan Sri Hassan myself, but from what I have heard, he is quite good at his job. People who are good talents need never worry about getting a job. Tan Sri Hassan Marican is a living proof of that.