Magazine article New Internationalist

Oilisms

Magazine article New Internationalist

Oilisms

Article excerpt

Well, you read it here first. The NI is up for a prize from Sonoma University in California for its piece on oil depletion in Pipeline cowboys (NI 361).

Oilisms was talking to a typical free market economist recently - in fact we can name him: Fatih Birol, the Chief Economist and Head of the Economics Analysis Division from the International Energy Agency. He maintains that 'Saudi Arabia has to increase production by three million barrels a day by the end of the year, or we will face difficult times.' Three million barrels a day? That's an increase of over 33 per cent. By the end of the year? It is a total impossibility.

Production in the North Sea fields is falling at a faster rate than expected. Data will soon confirm that rather than a nice slow decline of around 7 per cent a year (the expected rate), output went down by 11 per cent in 2003. It is being called a 'production waterfall'. For Britain this means more imports and lower tax revenues.

At a recent Berlin conference of geologists, statisticians and former oil executives belonging to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, speakers from the major oil companies were invited to give their views about the decline in oil. …

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