Former Shell Oil Chief Predicts $5 Gas by 2012

by | Dec 28, 2010 | Headline News | 34 comments

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    Though he’s no longer running one of the largest companies in the world, former President of Shell Oil John Hofmeister warns that the outlook for gas prices in the coming decade is not looking good:

    (Video of interview available below)

    I’m predicting a worse outcome over the next two years, which takes us to 2012 with higher gasoline prices, uncertainty as to the future of hydrocarbons, more regulation on the hydrocarbon industry based upon who the administration is today…

    And what I fear the most is that by 2012 prices are so high that we have a backlash from the electorate and we go into reverse and we go back to a hydrocarbon only type of a future, maybe with some nuclear, instead of moving on in the 21st century.

    I’m predicting, based upon the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, up to a million barrels a day of US production gone because of the politics of freezing drilling in the Gulf.

    The headline is the moratorium is lifted, the reality is you can’t get a permit… I’m expecting no new drilling for two more years at least.

    If we stay on our current course, within a decade, within ten years, we’re into energy shortages in this country big time. Black outs, brown outs, gas lines, rationing – that’s my projection based upon the current inability to  make decisions.

    When the American consumers are short, or when prices are so high – $5 a gallon for gasoline by 2012 – I believe that’s going to happen – that’s going to set a new tone, it’s going to be panic time on the part of the politicians, they’re going to suddenly get some kind of a sense we better do something.

    The scary thing is that Mr. Hofmeister is basing his $5 per gallon gasoline prediction on supply/demand issues, not even taking into account the unfettered digital creation of dollars by the Federal Reserve.

    If we’ve learned anything in the past few years, it should be that government is totally incapable of taking the necessary steps to prevent a problem before it happens. We saw it in the housing crisis in 2007/2008 and we’re seeing it now in the state budget crisis. Meredith Whitney explained it best in a recent 60 Minutes interview when she was asked why government wasn’t taking action to mitigate the state budget crisis, “because they don’t pay attention until they have to.”

    If Mr. Hofmeister is correct about supply tightening over the next couple of years, we’ll begin to see global oil shortages. This is not only going to raise the price of gas, but everything else dependent on oil, which is, well, just about everything else – manufacturing, transportation, food, you name it.

    Watch John Hofmeister discuss oil shortages and the coming energy crisis:


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      1. I will be surprised if we can get to the next presidential election without another major war…

      2. Sketch…

        I’ll be surprised if we can just GET to the next Presidential election.

      3. I am hoping for change come the next election!..and this time people don’t fall for a bum with a buzz word. 

      4. Comments….. I heard the same thing two years ago, a month later prices went down.

      5. Comments…..This absolutely does not suprise me the least.
        Look at the track record;
        a. Fed’s cannot run either the Medicare or Medicaid progrm,
        b. Fed’s cannot run the Social Security program,
        c. Fed’d cannot run the United Postal System,
        D. Fed’s failed to see the banking debacle coming,
        e. Fed’s failed to see the housing bubble,
        f. Fed’ have yet to recognize the bond market problems,
        g. Fed’s are failing to see the collaspe of our monetary values,
        h. Fed’s allowed illegal immigration to mature,
        i.  Fed’s failed us all in allowing our manufactiuring base to leave the country,
        j. Fed’s failed us all by stopping offshore drilling, damage yet to be see or determined,
        k. Fed’s are failing to ease corporate tax rates as to allow hiring and corporate investments,

        Anyone who has lived through the 60’s-70’s know very well what will happen if oil prices seduces the greed in our gov’t, higher prices for all, and if we are fortunate, maybe, just maybe, some of our remaining manufacturing facilities may still be able to employ a few folks. 

      6. john:

        That’s because the depression hit, and demand went in the toilet.

        And also why this depression is NEVER going to end….anytime a “green shoot” appears, it’s gonna get clipped by a rise in oil price.

        All previous recoveries were accompanied with increased use of energy….this time, the extra oil isn’t around on a worldwide basis, and why there will be no recovery as such.

        Oil will continue to creep higher and higher as supply goes down along with the value of the FRN. 

        The 100-150 year phase where the world went from 500 million folks to 6-7 billion today was based on cheap energy…..unless some miracle form of energy comes along to replace oil, we’re on the backside of the population and growth curve…headed back to something with a LOT less folks and a whole different style of living, at least for this country.

      7. gas is worth $5.00 per gallon. the problem is basically that most americans  are lazy and  don’t have the intelligence and abilities to get out there and get good paying  jobs so they can afford the basic necessities of life without whining. the favorite passtime for illiterate americans is blaming government or other people for their plight  -  rather than accepting that they brought hardship on themselves because they never got the education and social graces to compete in a competitive job market place.

        my four wheel drive yukon xl gets about 12 miles per gallon in the city and about 18 miles per galoon on the highway. i wouldn’t mind $5 or $6 per gallon gasoline because i want safe comfortable transportation. i just had the oil and oil filter changed with mobil 1 extended performance oil. this cost $100. to me it’s worth it. i just threw the junk new car tires away and bought michellin ltx=ms2 tires. there are comfortable and very quiet. they cost me $1,300 and are worth every penny.

        the problem with our economy is that most americans never educated themselves during their formative years. they played baseball and football and horsed around with junk cars and girls rather than realizing that this is a serious competitive life. even today many watch football games and dancing with the stars and drink too much beer rather than reading and studying and improving their minds so they can be ultracompetitive and get good jobs so they can afford a decent lifestyle.

        you don’t hear intelligent rich people bitching about high prices or bitching about inflation. they have had the intelligence and fortitude to be able to make increased profits from the high prices. for instance just using one example this is why i admire our wall street bankers so much. these are really smart people. they have gambled with our money, created a gigantic bubble, got out at the top and now after the crash have got the government to use our taxes to pay for their losses  and their continued exorbitant salaries  as well as multimillion dollar bonuses. now this is what all americans should be able to do  -  rather thanbeing lazy and  fooling around during their formative years then wondering why they can’t hack it when some chinese coolie puts them out of work.

        • Well if lazy stupid people like me are trying to put ourselves through college to get a better paying job working 67 hours a week while taking 19 credits had lower gas prices, things would be a lot easier. But I do agree that this country is filled with a lot of worthless bastards like those who have tons of children and live off welfare and unemployment…

      8. I would be surprised if Sketch & PatriotRider are surprised!  That electric SmartCar with twin mounts are starting to look smarter.

      9. Shroom….you ARE right…..gasoline is a bargain at 5 bucks.  If anyone doesn’t think so, try moving 6,000lbs of truck 12 miles by hand !

        Oil is such a wonderful energy source, it pains me to see people simply waste it riding up and down the road doing nothing…..we are actually living in the “good ole days”….ahahahaaaa

        By the way, Mush… WAY over paid for your Michelins.  I bought that set of tires for my Silverado for less that 900.

      10. WOW Mushroom you’re a genius!  How did you manage to figure all of this out on your own? It wouldnt be from being a self absorbed , self  righteous, arrogant jackass would it?   What about people who have no prior education and still make Millions? What about people who didnt bother with college but still have a Million dollar Business?  They have nothing to do with it right?   It’s not about being able to afford a decent lifestyle,  Its about being jacked by Wall Street Scum that you yourself worship,  and the Oil Gods who hold the population ransom…. oh and the JACKASSES in Washington that cant do a damn thing right… oh wait… THEY ALL WENT TO COLLEGE RIGHT?  and they all have a DEGREE… yet have no idea how to do their jobs…. You have no argument…. SO brag about how much you spend on tires and oil changes all day long… Im sure someone will actually give a shit one day…  idiot.  

      11. When the American consumers are short, or when prices are so high – $5 a gallon for gasoline by 2012 – I believe that’s going to happen – that’s going to set a new tone, it’s going to be panic time on the part of the politicians, they’re going to suddenly get some kind of a sense we better do something.”

        Something = being ready to feed your family when hard times hit..

      12. Tom,
        If Americans don’t fall for a bum with a buzz word, there will be no one left to vote for.

      13. John Hofmeister is definitely talking about peak oil.  That is real and it is coming within five years.

      14. Yukon 4WD….   Mushroom, damn you did surprise me.  I thought for sure you were some union kindergarten teacher that drives a Prius and
        belonged to PITA.  Maybe there is some hope for you if you pull your head out of your ass and:

        1.  Take your crisp $10 bills and buy silver instead.
        2.  Take your crisp $10 bills and buy 6 months of storable food.
        3.  Aquire 3 months of clean water and a water purifier/water filter.
        4.  Arm youself now and acquire mucho ammo.   Your Govt. buddies are going to protect you tuck you in at night.  The Police  and Sheriff’s Dept. will be at home protecting THEIR families and could give a shit less about your welfare.
        5.  Quit watching Oprah and The View and start watching Glen Beck & Fox News and see the world your are glancing.  Get some CONSERVATIVE knowledge of the REAL WORLD.  John Galt at  The Watchmen FM would also be an eye opener for you.
        6.  Quit posting for a month and concentrate on completing items 1-5 and then post us back in a month.  Failure to do any of the above will result in your demise….


      15. Comments…..mushroom-you are gonna be one of the first to fall from gracious living!     you may have to find yourself a couple of mules to pull that vehicle you say you drive…and don’t forget to have a shovel strapped to the back so you can clean up your shit.   for myself, i am already jobless and if the cost of gas goes up i guess i will just let the grass grow up around my knees in the front yard…hell, i’ll just till it and plant some veggies and flowers. getting to town-won’t need to..won’t be nothing i am interested in cause there will be no money to spend. might take a five mi. trip to the town square to sell/trade veggies and homemade stuff. and we are all in trouble if we need to see the dr….good indication that has gone to hell is when the most important heart medication turns out to be an aspirin a day and a few chewables if your having a heart attack.  and those intelligent rich people that we do not hear whining about things to come–well, be careful where you stand on a  city street when the bottom falls out…cause it has been known for “those folks” to take a dive from a 12 story window before they have to line up for soup or bread.

      16. May not have to wait that long.  Joe Petrowski, chief executive of Gulf Oil and the Cumberland Gulf Group, said: 

        “I think we’ll be at $100 in the first quarter,” he added, “and there’s one-in-four chance we’ll take out the $147 highs before Memorial Day.”

        Oil shot to a more than two-year high for a second day in a row Thursday, and some analysts said a run at $100 a barrel is inevitable, as one key OPEC member expressed little alarm over the rally.

        With ultra-cold weather stoking demand and helping drain U.S. stockpiles at the fastest pace in 12 years, traders are now looking for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…”

        I saw report San Fran @ $3.79 gal – that is closer to $4 then $3.  $5 may not be unrealistic.  Note to self, more PRI gas treatment for gas storage.

      17. I’m already pissed off, $5 , $7, $9 gas will piss off the nation.
        along with TSA sexual assaults and Naked X-ray Porno Body Scanners!

      18. Its really starting to happen isn’t it? I’m not that worried about next year. I’m thinking about the inevitble. President Carter tried to warn us. 

        Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )
        We have one way out. We have to grow up and stop acting like children.

      19. The USA has enjoyed cheap oil/gas for years because our currency is the reserve currency for the world, but that is now changing and rapidly.  Prepare for the dollar to collapse when our currency is no longer the predominant force.

      20. Why would you give creedence to a website/group, etc. that would qoute Paul Krugman, a Keynesian and closet Communist?  His ilk are the ones that created this mess!

      21. Comments…..Caryn, I’ll bet your shit doesn’t smell any different than mushrooms, so get off your big fat ass, get out of your trailer trash park and get yourself a job you whining fat tub of lard.

      22. I guess it’s a good thing that we invested in all those nuclear plants so that we could have good, clean energy to heat and cool our homes. Oh wait, we didn’t because nuclear plants are evilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll according to the environmental wackos!!!

      23. Let them (foreign nations) eat their oil, we should be eating our own wheat, corn & beans produced from our own oil, coal, natural gas, propane, sugar beets & solar.  Food will become a trump card within the next two years.  80% >up for Ag this year?  Drill baby drill.

      24. Consult your favorite authority on Peak Oil. Those references aren’t in front of me this instant, but we’re on the downside of the supply curve. The remaining oil is in environmentally inhospitable or politically unstable places. Alternatives such as oil shale require about as much energy to access as they provide. Skipping the details … $5 a gallon oil has you in a frizz does it? What are you gonna do when it’s $5 a quart ifn it’s available at all? Throw in government created hyperinflation and things get interesting fast.

        The uncertain future I prepare for is when only the gubmint and the billionaires have access to what oil provides. We’ll be lucky to be thrown back to about 1880 lifestyle wise. Let’s just hope we aren’t thrown back centuries farther than that.

        Those of you who live where it snows … what are you going to do when the grids go down, the envirofreakies have stymied nuclear power, the trees are all gone … and you’re shivering in the dark?
        Wool will keep you more or less warm. Maybe warm enough to stave off hypothermia. Olive oil lamps will give you a skosh of illumination. When yer ammo is gone those who are accurate with a bow and arrow will have some protein. Become savvy about medicinal plants, because it it gets really bad that’s the only medication that will be available.   $5 a gallon gas … let’s hope it only gets that bad.

      25. We are on the downside of the production curve, not supply curve.  This country is saving it & we’re going to pay for it.  Hard transition in process.

      26. Comments….. Oh I can hear the cocoapuffers screaming now! Give me a gas card!  Heck they got cell phones why not a gas card paid for by you and me!  After all, they’ve got to make it to BINGO, and to McDonalds and enough gas to get home to watch Oprah. 

        “Work harder, someone on welfare is depending on you.” author unknown LOL!

        December 28th, 2010 at 9:28 pm
        I’m already pissed off, $5 , $7, $9 gas will piss off the nation.
        along with TSA sexual assaults and Naked X-ray Porno Body Scanners!
        At those prices, TSA will be your last worries…airlines will be bankrupt…the irony??
        TSA on the unemployment line waiting for attendants with surgical gloves; and those completing the paperwork were assaulted by the TSA!!??


        Someone said:
        Alternatives such as oil shale require about as much energy to access as they provide. Skipping the details … $5 a gallon oil has you in a frizz does it?

        As I predicted on another site..predictions of 2011????
        Single car families again, one earner families, and children taking the damn bus to school and I don’t mean the one 10 miles away—I mean the one right next door!!!

        What have we accomplished?? gone is unnecessary gas for that second family vehicle, teens can walk or take the bus saving lots of gas, and school systems will save millions in gas cost running less miles.

      29. Not really sure what to say, but any Oil or fuel dink..isnt a friend of the working class.
        One thing i have seen in my buisness is, constant price increases..every year, some times every quarter..and they jump, like 7%..14%..etc.. thats been the trend for me for the past 3 to 4 years..
        the problem end customers that i need to pass that % onto..wont hear of it, or “allow” what happens sooner than later? Im out of Business, they made profit a 4 letter word..and than….they no longer have my service to support them..and soon enough its like a house of cards or dominoes..

        There will come a time where they can “set” the price on shit like this where ever they fucking want…that doesnt mean we the people have to “play the game”
        screw em..we can make them hurt too..the problem is UNITY..we can make them wake up..if we would all stop sleeping at the dam switch!
        I love it when i say to them,, we are going to have to rase our product costs..and they say..oh, you cant do that, we wont use you..
        than we say fine, were done…than its a fuck you game
        they think they have us by the throats, and we are allowing them to believe this way..time to end the “game”, or we all lose

      30. Lots of good ideas here today!..I’ve been hearing this for a long time,since the 60s at least and while gas is higher than it was then(really its not its just our money has lost value)its still available and we arent out yet.
        Govt interference has more to do with this shortage than almost anything,theres alot of oil and gas in the ground here and they arent pumping it,and I know this is going on all over the place,greed and politics is keeping it in the ground.
        I dont use alot of gasoline,I do have some stashed as always,and no, Im not going to worry about it until I see it,wolf has been cried too many times for me to take them seriously on this issue.

        Dr… offence but I believe they understand exactly what they are doing,it is planned not accidental.they have to crash America if they want to rule the world,we have a “history” of causing trouble for tyrant wannabees.
        Tom…lets hope we get a bum whos buzz word is “freedom” and means it.

      31. What utter hogwash. Oil “hydrocarbons” are a completely renewable resource. Look at the hundreds of oil fields that were pumped dry over the last 100 years. Ya know what happened? After they were allowed to sit for a decade or two, those fields are now producing again (and, no, it’s not because our extraction methods are so much better). Oil is a product of the earth that is continually produced – and produced at volumes that we couldn’t possibly deplete. Unless, of course, you listen to these oil company talking-head frauds.

      32. Has anyone checked the price of gasoline in europe… uh huh!   Yea… try close to $10/gallon… you see they have just a little tax to add on to each gallon/liter they buy at the same price we pay in the market…  hello! Welcome to socialism!   Um hum! We’ll be there soon if we keep going in that same direction.

      33. Buy lithium and natural gas companies.
        Electric cars and auto engines with natural gas conversions (inexpensive to convert a gasoline engine to run on natural gas) will take up the slack of decreased oil production.  May take a few years to add natural gas to service stations, believe me it’s coming.
        We are an innovative country, don’t listen to all the doom and gloom out there.

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