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Thursday, 17 January 2008, 6 p.m., Edinburgh
Coping With Climate Change: What is the Oil Industry Supposed To Do?"

Bryan Lovell, OBE, Senior Research Fellow in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Sponsorship is provided by Wood Mackenzie.

This event occurred on: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 6 p.m.

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The oil industry spent the 20th century taking fossil carbon insouciantly out of the ground. That profitable and mighty useful activity needs to continue vigorously in this century, but, if we are to remain carefree, we shall have to develop an associated industry, comparable in scale, that is devoted to pumping used fossil carbon back safely underground. Otherwise it is probable that we shall repeat a nasty experiment in releasing fossil carbon that Earth has already carried out 55 million years ago. That highly disruptive Paleogene warming event is not something we would wish to repeat through our own agency. So the oil industry is at a critical point concerning climate change. Are we going to be defensive and moribund? Or constructive and vital? To get some of the detail on the scientific background that lies behind all this, see the "Discussion and Reply by Bryan Lovell and Lee C. Gerhard" (Adobe PDF File) published in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 90, no. 3 (March 2006), pp. 405?407. Also see "Coping with Climate Change", a three-day international meeting on the geological aspects of coping with climate change, sponsored by the Petroleum Group of The Geological Survey.


Dr Bryan Lovell, OBE, is Senior Research Fellow in Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Lovell studied geology at Oxford and Harvard Universities during the 1960s, and was Lecturer in Geology at Edinburgh University during the 1970s. During his time in Edinburgh he developed consultancy links with the oil and mining industries. In 1981 he joined BP as Chief Sedimentologist, later working as Exploration Manager in Ireland and the Middle East. Since retiring from BP at the end of 1996, he has maintained close links with the oil industry through his Hertford-based consultancy.

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