Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks
critical future energy supplies
crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are
canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about “peak
point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the
Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits
“secrecy around the topic is probably not good”.
to the DECC, asking for information and advice on peak oil amid a growing campaign
from industrialists such as Sir Richard Branson for the government to put contingency
plans in place to deal with any future crisis.
and said there was no change of policy other than to keep the issue under review.
The peak oil argument was effectively dismissed as alarmist by former energy minister
Malcolm Wicks in a report to government last summer, while oil companies such
as BP, which have major influence in Whitehall, take a similar line.
of England and Ministry of Defence among others to discuss the issue.
oil are ‘not quite right’. They need to take account of climate change and put
more emphasis on reducing demand and also the fact that peak oil may increase volatility in the market.”
request written by DECC officials and dated 31 July 2010 says it can only release
some information on what is currently under policy discussion because they are
“ongoing” and “high profile” in nature.
this information. In particular we recognise that greater transparency makes government
more open and accountable and could help provide an insight into peak oil.
with the need to ensure that ministers and advisers can discuss policy in a manner
which allows for frank exchanges of views and opinions about important and sensitive
the topic being “probably not good”, although it also suggests officials stick to the line that the “International Energy Agency is an authoritative
source in this field” and stresses how the IEA believes there is sufficient reserves
to meet demand till 2030 as long as investment in new reserves is maintained.
staff members privately telling newspaper they thought the official numbers on
future global oil supply were over-optimistic.
to 88m in 2015 and reach 105m in 2030. The organisation presumes the challenge
of meeting that demand can equally be met by a mixture of higher Opec production
and considerably more output from unconventional sources.
to 95m barrels a day would be impossible, but there are fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the
figures were brought down further. And the Americans fear the end of oil supremacy
because it would threaten their power over access to oil resources.”
But Kjell Aleklett, a professor of physics at Uppsala University in Sweden and
author of a report The Peak of the Oil Age, (see below) claims crude production is more likely to be 75m barrels a day
by 2030 than the “unrealistic” 105m projected by the IEA.
intangible arguments over climate change
The Peak of the Oil Age – The Uppsala World Energy Outlook
Snowden, Bengt SÃ¶derbergh
The article performs an analysis of the oil production forecast done by the International
Energy Agency in 2008 and highlights several shortcomings as well as confirms
The assessment of future global oil production presented in the IEA’s World Energy
Outlook 2008 (WEO 2008) is divided into 6 fractions; four relate to crude oil,
one to non-conventional oil and the final fraction is natural-gas-liquids (NGL).
Using the production parameter, depletion-rate-of-recoverable-resources, we have
analyzed the four crude oil fractions and found that the 75 Mb/d of crude oil
production forecast for the year 2030 appears significantly overstated, and is
more likely to be in the region of 55 Mb/d. Moreover, analysis of the other fractions
strongly suggests lower than expected production levels. In total, our analysis
points to a world oil supply in 2030 of 75 Mb/d, some 26 Mb/d lower than the IEA
present modelling approach. Since our forecast sees little chance of a significant
increase in global oil production, our findings suggest that the “policy makers,
investors and end users” to whom WEO 2008 is addressed should rethink their future
plans for economic growth. The fact that global oil production has very probably
passed its maximum implies that we have reached the Peak of the Oil Age.