Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Matt Simmons, Rest in Peace

Famed energy investment banker Matthew Simmons, founder of Simmons & Co. International, died unexpectedly Monday in Maine at the age of 67.  Mr. Simmons forever will be associated with the peak oil movement, especially because of his book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.

I did not know the man, but I worked with his company on several occasions.  In fact, as I type I am looking past my monitor at an acrylic "tombstone" from a recent Simmons & Co. deal.  I have great respect for his important legacy.

His death is untimely for many reasons, not the least of which are his recent controversial comments on the BP oil spill, which he contended  was significantly bigger that anyone believed, and his disparaging remarks about shale gas, which he more or less dismissed.  Both of these positions attracted a fair amount of criticism.  Mr. Simmons  was a man who was fearless in expressing his opinions, and I am sorry that he did not have the opportunity to continue to pursue his lines of reasoning on each of these positions.  I hope he is remembered for his larger body of work rather than his recent controversial remarks.

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