Now It's Really Official: IEA Chief Economist Says Oil Supplies Running Out Fast, Peak Oil Soon


photo: Fabian Winiger via flickr

Predicting exactly when peak oil will hit is somewhat like reading tea leaves -- transparency in reserve data is so lacking that opacity is a better descriptor and the current economic downturn doesn't help -- But one thing is beyond a doubt: Oil fields are becoming depleted much faster than thought just two years ago and the end of cheap oil is decidedly over. That's the word in The Independent from International Energy Agency chief economist Dr Fatih Birol:Birol told The Independent that peak oil will to be upon us in 10 years and that "we will have to leave oil before it leaves us" in order to avoid a catastrophic energy crunch.

This is based on the first detailed assessment of over 800 oil fields across the globe that found most of the big fields are already past peak -- something independent peak oil researchers have long said -- and that the rate of decline in oil production, at 6.7% per year, is double that which was calculated in 2007.

We Need Four New Saudi Arabia's to Maintain Current Demand
To illustrate what that means, Dr Birol said that by 2030 if oil demand just remained steady we would have to find the equivalent of four Saudi Arabia's worth of oil; if demand increases as the IEA predicts, that goes up to six.

Read more of Dr Birol's statements: The Independent
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Tags: Energy | Oil | Peak Oil