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Oil expert and BP critic Matt Simmons suddenly dies.

Matt Simmons, a former oil investment banker and famous for his controversial criticisms of BP, is dead.

There are conflicting reports about the cause of death. Some media cite police reports saying the cause was a heart attack. However, according to WLBZ-TV in Maine, the Knox County Sheriff's Department said Simmons drowned at his house oi North Haven late Sunday night.

Simmons founded Simmons & Co. International, one of the world´s leading investment banks for the energy industry, and had recently retired to work full time on his newly founded Ocean Energy Institute, promoting the use of offshore wind power.

Simmons also served as energy adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush. He was a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.

He became famous as a leading advocate of the "peak oil" theory, saying that the production capacity for oil would drop soon and rapidly.

More recently Simmons got publicity with dire calls about the fate of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil catastrophe. One month ago, he said on CNBC that scientists had estimated a flow rate from the uncontrolled well of 120,000 barrels per day -- instead of the initially official number of just 5,000 barrel per day.

Simmons said that the well could not be easily stopped, and that the relief wells would fail to stop the spill. He even suggested that the best option would be to detonate a small nuclear bomb undersea to kill the well.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Aug 9, 2010
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