Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whistleblower Says IEA Inflated Oil Estimates

An unnamed whistleblower at the International Energy Agency claims that the IEA's previous and current "World Energy Outlook" ('08 and '09) inflated the estimated amount of oil reserves in the world. The Guardian UK has the story, which includes a 3-minute audio segment by journalist Terry Macalister, a nice quick summary of the situation. The whistleblower inside the IEA says that the United States pressured the agency to make oil reserves look better than they really are to avoid panic in the markets and worsening of the financial crisis.

The current WEO states that world oil supplies can reach 105 mbd by 2030.

The whistleblower told The Guardian, "Many inside the organization believe that maintaining oil supplies at even 90 million to 95 million barrels a day would be impossible, but there are fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down further.”

Currently, the world output is 83 mbd.

"A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added." (Guardian UK)

An October report by the UK Energy Research Council says that world oil production will go into permanent decline before 2020, in less than ten years. UKERC is a consortium of academic partners from 15 different UK institutions. Its headquarters are based at Imperial College Londonand at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

The World Energy Outlook '09 was just released today.

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