ENERGY: Time running out for fossil fuels

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The Independent Online
A permanent decline in worldwide oil production is virtually certain to start within 20 years as the fossil fuel begins to run out, a geologist warns in the leading science journal Nature Today.

Between 1985 and 1995, oil consumption rose by 16 per cent, with nearly of all this due to an increase in production by members of Opec, the Middle East dominated oil countries cartel. But, says Craig Bond Hatfield of the University of Toledo, Ohio, geological data indicates that within the next 10 years the oil production of non-Opec countries like Britain will start a permanent decline. If current consumption rates continue, then, given known reserves and estimated reserves, the oil would last until 2057. Nicholas Schoon