Pickens: American natural gas bounty is divine intervention

By Lawrence Delevingne

Tue May 1, 2012


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BP Capital Management chairman makes last stand against foreign oil at the Milken Institute Global Conference; projects Brent at $150 a barrel by summer.


   
   T. Boone Pickens (Photo: Bloomberg)
LOS ANGELES -- T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire founder of oil and gas-focused hedge fund BP Capital Management, used the Milken Institute Global Conference to make a seemingly last impassioned plea for his plan to move America away from foreign oil.

He suggested the low price and abundance of natural gas in the U.S. was perhaps sent from above.

"As I get closer to the end than the beginning, I've become more and more attuned to divine intervention," said the 83-year-old Pickens, during a dinner discussion with institute namesake Michael Milken that also featured Eike Batista, chairman and CEO of Brazilian energy conglomerate EBX Group. "It's an unbelievable situation for our country. Here we sit deep in debt and we have a solution: use your own resources and build an economy on the back of cheap energy."

Since 2008, the former oilman has been pushing an alternative energy proposal focused on natural gas dubbed, naturally, the Pickens Plan. The legislation was approved by a slim majority in the Senate, but needs to be filibuster-proof. Having already spent about $100 million to support to cause, Pickens is now making final lobbying push to get the 60 votes required.

"I'm retiring in Washington after this. I don't think I'll ever go back up there again," he announced.

Pickens said the cost of oil will continue to rise and predicts a barrel of Brent crude could hit $150 by summer, in response to questions from AR. He said natural gas prices have bottomed and would likely hit $3 per million British thermal units by April 2013.