Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Key Oil Figures Distorted Due to US Pressure

Without good data, we cannot make good plans.

bigoil2 The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

In particular they question the prediction in the last World Economic Outlook, believed to be repeated again this year, that oil production can be raised from its current level of 83m barrels a day to 105m barrels. External critics have frequently argued that this cannot be substantiated by firm evidence and say the world has already passed its peak in oil production.

Now the "peak oil" theory is gaining support at the heart of the global energy establishment. "The IEA in 2005 was predicting oil supplies could rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030 although it was forced to reduce this gradually to 116m and then 105m last year," said the IEA source, who was unwilling to be identified for fear of reprisals inside the industry. "The 120m figure always was nonsense but even today's number is much higher than can be justified and the IEA knows this.

"Many inside the organisation believe that maintaining oil supplies at even 90m 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," he added.

A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Guardian>

In the simplest terms, world oil production will never be significantly higher than it is today.  We can look forward to increasing demand and decreasing supply driving the price of oil sky high.  Because of US oil company influence, the figures we’re about to get have been tanked.  This underscores the need to develop alternative energy sources without delay.

7 comments:

rjs said...

Why the ‘peak oil’ debate is irrelevant – New Scientist - The debate over exactly when we will reach "peak oil" is irrelevant. No matter what new oil fields we discover, global oil production will start declining in 2030 at the very latest. That's the conclusion of the most comprehensive report to date on global oil production, published on 7 October by the UK Energy Research Centre. The report, which reviewed over 500 research studies, suggests that global oil production could peak any time from right now to as late as 2030. Global production of oil is declining at a rate of 4 per cent per year in existing oil fields and we have very little to replace it with. If we want to maintain global oil production at today's level we would need to discover the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every 3 years. Yet discoveries of new oil fields are in decline. Even the "giant" Tiber field recently found by BP in the Gulf of Mexico "will only serve to delay peak oil by a matter of days"

RealityZone said...

Not only that, if I may add. Future oil reserves will be more costly to bring up, out, and to the market place. Where is the oil? Who has control of the oil? Oil is worth more if there is less of it. Real or imagined. America peaked in 1972. I have believed that the middle east peaked in 2000. Cheney and his secret energy committee knew it then. Hence the invasion of Iraq. 9/11 was the green light to go into Afghanistan and the region in general.
We have no political will, or leadership to take us into the new era. Green tech, is a great bridge to transform our manufacturing, job base, and infrastructure. We have to date done none of it. The exact opposite is happening. China, Asia, and Europe are taking the forefront on this. Again we are behind the curve on this also. It is as if we are on a self destruct button.

TomCat said...

Thanks RJ. All the more reason to act now.

rjs said...

peak oil isnt our problem anymore; it's chinas; theyre now producing more gas guzzlers than we are, and theyve already bought most of the oil in africa, half of south america, and have a 25 year contract on russian production...

TomCat said...

As interconnected as the world has become, I don't see how their problem will not become our problem, especially given their huge holding in $US.

rjs said...

i know, tom, i was just using this issue to point out how little we control our own energy destiny anymore...

TomCat said...

Your point is well made. Were that not the case, I might have a better idea for a solution.