UK companies urge steps to head off global 'oil crunch'
Thursday 30 October 2008
The world is facing a dangerous "oil crunch" in as little as five years, and the Government needs to starting working on solutions now to avoid major economic and social problems, a cross-industry group warned yesterday.
"Peak oil" is the point at which the rate of extraction exceeds the discovery of new supplies, with considerable economic and political consequences for energy-hungry countries reliant on oil for everything from energy to pharmaceuticals to agricultural fertilisers.
Timetables vary, but the taskforce of eight companies, including Stagecoach, Virgin and Scottish & Southern Energy, is predicting the end of cheap and easy oil supplies as early as 2012. Even Royal Dutch Shell, commissioned to write a balancing view for the group's report, is forecasting a plateau ofsupply as production moves to more difficult sources such as ultra-deeplayers and tar sands.
"We are going to reach a peak in the early part of the next decade," said Will Whitehorn, the cross-industry group's chairman and president of Virgin Galactic. "If we are going to avoid a crunch we need to invest now." The groupbelieves a national energy plan should urgently implement accelerated energy conservation and more investment in renewable resources.
Jeremy Leggett, executive chairman of taskforce member Solarcentury, said: "The difference between the credit crunch and the oil crunch is that we have five years in which we could try to engineer a soft landing, by beginning the restructuring ahead of time."
The gloomy predictions are supported by the latest data from the International Energy Agency, which suggest that annual oil production worldwide is falling faster than expected.
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Chicago river turns green to mark Saint Patrick's Day 2014
Saint Patrick's Day: Google Doodle celebrates patron saint of Ireland - here are 10 things you didn't know about the man himself
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - Sophis, Fid...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support Analyst - SQL...
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Front Office Support Analyst -Cha...
£70000 - £85000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...