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2005 Global Oil Peak confirmed

PRESS RELEASE
29.10.10

Former BP Chief Geologist Confirms 2005 Global Oil Peak
Warns world faces "second half of the Oil Age" and future of "economic, political and geopolitical tension"

For more information contact info@iprd.org.uk and/or call +44(0)7824 44 10 44

A new report published by the Institute for Policy Research & Development (IPRD) in London finds that world oil production peaked between 2005 and 2008, and is currently in inexorable decline. Authored by the renowned 40-year veteran petroleum geologist Dr. Colin J. Campbell, who has worked and consulted for leading oil companies such as British Petroleum (BP), Shell and Exxon, the report warns that the “first half of the Oil Age” is over, and the “second half” – characterized by a gradual but increasing decline in production, has now arrived.

Drawing on an extensive country-by-country analysis of oil production data, Dr. Campbell concludes that world regular conventional oil peaked in 2005, prompting oil prices to rise dramatically as traders bought contracts on the oil futures market. The oil price shocks were instrumental in triggering the 2008 economic recession, which dampened demand and allowed prices to reduce. Regular conventional oil is currently declining at 3 per cent a year, with the decline of all categories of oil being about half that rate for the next decade or so before edging upwards.

“We are now inhabiting a post-peak economy”, said Dr. Campbell. “In the first half of the oil age, cheap, mainly oil-based energy has fuelled economic prosperity and related money supply. There is a fundamental difference between going up and going down. In the second half of the oil age, although the decline has begun gently, it represents a turning point of historic magnitude.”

In May 2005, Dr. Campbell predicted that an imminent peak in world oil production would lead to a stock market decline and banking crisis between 2008 and 2012. Dr. Campbell now forecasts a future price limit of around $100 per barrel – at current dollar value – noting that coming oil price shocks will impose further economic recession, dampening demand. He further critiques government bank bailouts to stimulate consumerism by pumping out more credit as doomed to failure, as any economic recovery would lead to a rise in demand for oil, again hitting the supply barrier leading to another price shock and renewed recession. Such policies could lead to “rampant inflation and dollar devaluation.”

The £100 price limit would restrain investments in more expensive unconventional oil and gas, which in any case will “have little impact on peak itself” but may be “important in ameliorating the post-peak decline.” World production of conventional gas is likely to peak around 2015 – with unconventional gas peaking much later, though subject to “slow and costly extraction rates.”

The report also warns that “resource wars” for control of the world’s remaining oil reserves have already begun, noting efforts to kick-start oil production in postwar Iraq, and that the war in Afghanistan, although less successful, “lies on a planned pipeline route from the Caspian.” Similarly, tensions with Iran cannot be de-linked from its substantial oil and gas resources. Dr. Campbell calls for greater governmental efforts at adaptation, highlighting that a failure to develop viable alternative energy supplies would make projected population growth unsustainable.

IPRD Executive Director, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, said:“Dr. Campbell’s outstanding new report confirms the findings of another IPRD study, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, released earlier this month, which reviewed a variety of academic and industry reports both for and against ‘peak oil’. Despite every year insisting that peak oil won’t happen for another 40 years, BP’s own 2010 production data shows that world oil production was on a plateau between 2005 and 2008, and has been declining ever since. This is unprecedented in the history of world oil production. The data is now unequivocal: we inhabit a ‘post-peak’ world, and it is imperative for policymakers to pay attention.”

Dr. Colin Campbell’s new IPRD report, The Post-Peak World, is available for download from the IPRD website http?://iprd?.?org?.?uk/?p=6765. Dr. Nafeez Ahmed’s study, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, is available from Pluto Press/Macmillan. For more information or to interview Dr. Campbell or Dr. Ahmed, please contact info@iprd.org.uk and/or call +44(0)7824 441 044

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Dr. Colin J. Campbell D.Phil (Oxford) is a world renowned petroleum geologist who has worked as chief geologist, vice-president and consultant for many of the world’s leading oil companies, including British Petroleum, Amoco, Texaco, Shenandoah Oil, Norsk Hydro, Fina, Shell, Esso, and Total, as well as consulting for the European Commission, and Bulgarian and Swedish governments. He is the author of over 150 schol­arly papers, and two books, The Coming Oil Crisis (Multiscience, 2005) and An Atlas of Oil and Gas Depletion (Jeremy Mills, 2008). Dr. Campbell, a founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, is now a Trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC), a charitable organi sation in London dedicated to researching the date and impact of the peak and decline of world oil production.

The Institute for Policy Research & Development (IPRD) is a London-based research network for transdisciplinary security studies, analysing violent conflict in the context of global ecological, energy and economic crises. IPRD Executive Director, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, is a bestselling author and international security analyst. His latest IPRD study, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary analysis of global ecological, energy and economic crises. Dr. Ahmed has taught international relations, contemporary history, globalization, and empire at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex and Brunel University’s Politics & History Unit. His research has also been used by the 9/11 Commission; the US Army Air University’s ‘Causes of War’ collection (2007); the UK Ministry of Defence’s Joint Services Command & Staff College Research Guide on Counter-Terrorism and the GWOT (2008); Chatham House’s Middle East Programme; the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) ‘World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization’ social science bibliography on impacts of globalization (2003); the Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies (2010), among others. He testified in US Congress in 2005, advised the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2009, and advised the UK Parliamentary Inquiry into the ‘Prevent’ programme. He has also consulted for projects funded by the UK Department of Communities & Local Government and the US Department of State.

For more information contact info@iprd.org.uk and/or call +44(0)7824 44 10 44