Thank you for that introduction, Rob, and thanks to all of you for the opportunity to speak to you today.

In part, this is to be a welcoming speech, so I enthusiastically and warmly welcome all of you to San Francisco.

Possibly, some of you are here for the first time, so I would like to say a few words about our city.

Most people agree that San Francisco is special for a combination of reasons: it?s beautiful setting, its sun and fog, its parks and flowers, its Victorian houses, and its many restaurants offering so many cuisines.

I hope that all of you will find opportunities to experience the city during your stay. But even if you don't step out of this hotel, one San Francisco experience is already yours: the Palace.

This stylish old building is beloved by the world for its Garden Court, and has often figured in the city's history.

For example, many Presidents have stayed here, and one died here1. Also, it was here that the famous tenor, Enrico Caruso, stayed 75 years ago this month on the opening night of an opera.

The next morning was April 18, 1906. hat's- a famous date, because shortly after 5 a. m. there was some seismic activity in San Francisco, followed by three days of fire. The fire consumed most of the original Palace and just about everything else from the Ferry Building to Van Ness Avenue.

Caruso did not endear himself to San Franciscans in this emergency. He left town on the first available train, allegedly saying that he preferred Mount Vesuvius, which was then erupting. In fact, he vowed never to set foot in San Francisco again -- and he kept h is promise.

Needless to say, I hope you enjoy the city more than Caruso did, and that you will return often.

Despite the approaching 75th anniversary of the earthquake and fire, the natives profess to be unconcerned and you may as well take the same official position.

Should 1906 repeat itself, the citizens are unlikely' to conclude that the Almighty disapproves of San Francisco. This was made clear after the fire 75 years ago, when a verse sprang up here. It concerned a whiskey merchant named Hotaling, whose establishment was one of the few buildings not destroyed downtown. Here is the limerick:

" If, as they say, God spanked the town for being over-frisky, Why did he burn the churches down but spare Hotaling's whiskey?"

My more serious task this afternoon is to provide you with an overview of today's world energy scene and its impact on the United States.

As far as I can see, the "WORLD ENERGY SCENE" still means the world oil and gas scene. That's because petroleum today still accounts for about 70 percent of the non-Communist world's energy consumption. While several scenarios for the future are possible, I don't think the situation will be radically different in the year 2000. Two decades from now, the chances are that oil and gas will still be providing more than half of our energy.

Therefore, my subject today has to be world oil, although oil leads to other subjects. And what I will say first about oil is something we can all appreciate.

Oil is c. The oil business has always been complex. It is ever changing, as a result of many factors.

This has become even more true in recent times with the intrusion of s in to the business. Politics has brought new dimensions of business uncertainty.

Today, governments throughout the world are involved in energy, to various degrees in different countries. These government activities have caused momentous events, especially since the early 1970s with the emergence of a strong OPEC, the use of oil by some oil-exporting countries as a political weapon, and the steep rise in world crude oil prices.

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