Peak-time much sooner? » The Independent: World o…

Peak-time much sooner?

» The Independent: World oil and gas supplies are heading for a “production crunch” sometime between 2010 and 2020 when they cannot meet supply, because global reserves are 80 per cent smaller than had been thought, new forecasts suggest.

Research presented this week at the University of Uppsala in Sweden claims that oil supplies will peak soon after 2010, and gas supplies not long afterwards, making the price of petrol and other fuels rocket, with potentially disastrous economic consequences unless people have moved to alternatives to fossil fuels.

While forecasters have always known that such a date lies ahead, they have previously put it around 2050, and estimated that there would be time to shift energy use over to renewables and other non- fossil sources.

But Kjell Aleklett, one of a team of geologists that prepared the report, said earlier estimates that the world’s entire reserve amounts to 18,000 billion barrels of oil and gas – of which about 1,000 billion has been used up so far – were “completely unrealistic”. He, Anders Sivertsson and Colin Campbell told New Scientist magazine that less than 3,500 billion barrels of oil and gas remained in total.

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