World Will Struggle To Meet Oil Demand, Says International Energy Agency

tanaka russia iea photo

(Photo of IEA director Nobuo Tanaka visiting Russia)

Ready for peak oil, anybody? The Financial Times has gotten hold of a draft of the International Energy Agency's annual report, which states that the rate of output decline is 9.1 per cent at the world's biggest oil fields. This is the first ever authoritative public study of oil reserves - most countries such as Saudi Arabia prefer to keep the data as well-kept state secrets.

The IEA, the oil watchdog, forecasts that China, India and other developing countries’ demand will require investments of $360bn each year until 2030. The agency says even with investment, the annual rate of output decline is 6.4 per cent.

IEA is an organization that represents the consuming countries - US, Japan, South Korea and Europe - with almost no power to do anything about oil supply. What consumers can do of course is to become more energy efficient and save oil, thus also helping the planet, something IEA actually seems to be aware of:

...Current energy trends are not sustainable and that a better balance must be found between the three Es – energy security, economic development and protection of the environment. Energy is part of many environmental problems, including climate change, and must be part of the solution. The IEA has been engaged for more than a decade on designing cost-effective approaches to reduce CO2 emissions, from the international policy architecture (including trading mechanisms) to energy efficiency policy and the promotion of clean technologies.

Or, as Ralph Sims, a senior analyst at the International Energy Agency says to IHT:

...The IEA's message is very clear: We can't keep doing what we're doing. What we need to do now is start to change, to move forward to new energy sources and increase the uptake of energy efficiency. We should err on the cautious side. It's stupid to ignore what the vast majority of science is saying, just in case science is right.

International Herald Tribune: Global consensus on energy solutions remains elusive

Meanwhile, Financial Times notes that "the focus of the industry on the demand – not just the supply – side is moving away from the US, Europe and Japan, towards emerging nations."

Without enough oil, our work here at Treehugger and the search for solutions can suddenly get very, very interesting...

Recent entries about Peak Oil:
Matt Simmons: Peak Oil Will Dwarf Financial Crunch Soon
Portland Peak Oil Activists and Local Politicians Work Together
The Greenest Village in Britain? Chew Magna’s Go Zero Project
Community Solutions to Coming Challenges: Peak Moment TV
The Transition Handbook

Written by Martin Frid at

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