Friday, 15 October 2010

Age of cheap oil coming to an end

GLOBAL supplies of conventional oil are likely to peak by 2030, with a
"significant risk" of a peak before 2020, a new assessment by the UK Energy
Research Centre (UKERC) has concluded.

"There is a growing consensus that the age of cheap oil is coming to an
end," the UKERC study, "Global Oil Depeletion", says.

The authors warn that without early investment in strategies to reduce oil
demand and deliver new energy sources, dwindling supplies of cost-effective
energy from conventional oil could cramp the global economy.

The US Department of Energy has calculated that such investment would need
to begin at least 20 years before oil supplies peak to avoid serious energy

UKERC acknowledges that there a large uncertainties in predicting the timing
of "peak oil", but argues that there is sufficient information available to
make an adequate assessment.

It puts the timing of "peak oil" somewhere between 2009 and 2030.

"Although this range appears wide in the light of forecasts of an imminent
peak, it may be a relatively narrow window in terms of the lead time to
develop substitute fuels," the authors say.

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