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The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an independent, multi-government group formed out of the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. The Agency forecasts oil production and monitors international oil markets and energy sectors. Just five years ago, the IEA rather confidently predicted that oil production would rise to 120 million barrels per day by 2030. Well, there's been a change in outlook.

Now, IEA chief economist Fatih Birol says that the world's crude oil production peaked backed in 2006. Furthermore, Birol predicts that oil prices will rise by 30 percent over the next three years. That price hike, according to Birol, is due to declining access to crude and because some of the world's largest oil producers will intentionally slash output to artificially drive up prices.

Birol says that although peak crude oil production is behind us, abundant natural gas could provide a viable alternative. The IEA says that governments around the world need to rethink their reliance on oil. That's a statement that we can wholeheartedly agree with.

[Source: ABC News | Image: jkirkhart35 – C.C. License 2.0]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thank you ABG for spreading this news. You can find this the best recent video on Peak Oil here: http://sufiy.blogspot.com/2011/04/abc-catalyst-peak-oil-report-tnrv-czxv.html
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's just hope that the decline in petroleum extraction follows Hubbert's curve as gradual, rather than falling off the cliff into the abyss of a world starved for energy.
        Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        That is what I worry about. I just wonder if it is going to be like drinking out of a straw. Liquid flows at a normal rate right up until there is very little left...
        samagon0
        • 3 Years Ago
        Actually, Hubbert's curve expects a quick drop, and it played out when USA reached peak oil in 1970.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, they didn't know it two years ago. So, that's progress. You wonder what they talk about at those "board meetings". Maybe after all the glaciers are melted they can admit global warming started in 1970.
        samagon0
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        global temperature equalization is what it should be called. we are still in a glacial period of the world on a grand scale.
      EV Now
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting that IEA is no longer on the denier list - even as TOD says we will hit a new peak in a couple of years !
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EV Now
        There are two different metrics, conventional oil which probably peaked in 2006 and 'all liquids' which includes 'wet' gas etc converted to oil, and which is edging upwards at a slow pace. Hence the apparent discrepancy. Oil supplies are holding up better than the doomers predicted, but worse than the cornucopians did. It is quite certain though that supplies are not great enough to allow for the powering of the ~2 billion more vehicles implied by industrialisation in China etc.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a change of tone coming from IEA...5 years ago there in full denial, projecting 130 millions Barrels in 2030 they have downsized their over-optimistic prediction to the point that they become peak oil aware and advocate. Well, as IEA being the world energy watchdog so peak oi is official now, at this point if we (and governments) don't learn our lesson from their warning then we will never learn.
      Noz
      • 3 Years Ago
      ENOUGH THINKING...FKING DO SOMETHING.
        Marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Noz
        Yeah, that the way, Noz! You tell 'em, they should follow your policy of yelling first and thinking later,... well actually never thinking at all!
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          seems to work for you
          Noz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          The only thing you can think of is invading and destroying to get what you want....what do you contribute?? I'll give you a guess....0.
          skierpage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Your editorials over everyone else's comments are indeed tiresome, even when spot-on.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Noz
        Quick lets invade an oil rich nation, that will solve all our problems!
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      Note this is not the US ABC News at abcnews.com, but the *Australian* Broadcasting Corporation. It's interesting that the US mainstream media hasn't picked up on this. In fact the WSJ report the next day, quoting the same economist (!) does not include the words "peak oil". http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703567404576293230381276652.html The Guardian's George Monbiot an interesting, if depressing, reaction: "We have enough non-renewable resources of all kinds to complete our wreckage of renewable resources: forests, soil, fish, freshwater, benign weather. Collapse will come one day, but not before we have pulled everything down with us." http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/02/environmental-fixes-all-greens-lost
        Noz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        Monbiot's quote is spot on. That is indeed where we are heading...and it'll world of hurt for millions of people and other animals. The fear of money and grab for power far outstrips any altruism humanity has to offer anymore.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      good thing that agency was on top of the situation.. it's not like peak oil has been known for 60 years or anything.. what a piece of work is man
        hodad66
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        amen to that!! Carter had us on the right path and the grade B actor removed all the incentives so that his oil buddies could rake in the cash longer. Imagine the technology today if we had attacked this issue with the same energy as the moon race.
          Eliot Lemoncelli
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hodad66
          Hoda and Dan, Reagan was elected 3 months before I was born. I know Carter was President just after the oil crisis and put solar panels on the White House. Can you point me in the direction of info on his energy policies? We would be in fantastic in comparison to the current situation if any president had done an Moonshot Challenge type scenario for oil.
          hodad66
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hodad66
          comments about the turnaround...... http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3002/2867752424_3f40bab6f6_o.png
        hodad66
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Carter's speech..... http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/carter-energy/
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can everyone acknowledge that we're running out of oil that is easy to get now?
      Danaon
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Peak oil" is a self solving problem. The more oil prices are manipulated upwards by commodities traders and unfriendly governments, the more incentive there is to use other fuels. Natural gas would be an excellent solution. It presents a few problems of its own (fracking) but energy independence and inexpensive energy (invaluable for our economy) would be worth it.
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        The big question is whether you want to lead the market or respond to it. World powers tend to get complacent and lose their leadership position when they just respond. Think about Portugese sailing ship builders, Spanish horse breeders, etc. If we as a country want to come out ahead, we need to do something before our current ways become irrelevant.
        Noz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        Have you not heard of boiling the frogs slowly? That's what we are...frogs. You'll be paying $20/gallon in a few years and you'll thank your government and Navy Seals even then for being such great warmongers...it'll never end.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        Self solving problem? are you serious ? imagine one second the world with a 200$ a barrel, many countries wouldn't be able to afford the price of food, the global economy would be stalled, our world run on liquid fuels, there is no easy or fast solution to displace oil in the short or even medium term, not mentioning that our capacity to react to a oil shortage would be greatly diminished by the unavoidable economic crisis that would follow.
        Marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        You are quite right, the oil supply problem will resolve itself economically as the demand for other oil products competes on an economic basis with demand for transport fuel. This is inevitable, and determined by the finite nature of the resource. (commodity traders unfriendly governments are really immaterial). The big question is how to replace this valuable commodity? Each alternative has shortcomings, Natural Gas is still a fossil fuel, and has some pollution issues. Wind , Solar, and Geo-thermal are all technologies which show some promise, but not on a truly industrial scale. The only two that are viable today, are Coal, (dirty and still a fossil fuel) and Nuclear. Nuclear arouses a lot of fear, some justified, but mostly based on ignorance and bias. Nuclear technology, (pebble reactors etc) are safer and cleaner than ever before and technical progress is rapidly transforming this industry into a more acceptable alternative. So unless the cold fusion guys at Padua University, have got something tangible to show soon, the world is in for some tough choices. But mankind's future is still bright. Developments in technology will more than exceed the loss of the old oil economy. It would be helpful if all the doomsday commentators would resist gloating about an Armageddon, that will never happen.
        EJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        Although NG wouldn't be a great solution, like it or not, it is a self solving problem. Nobody said it wouldn't be filled with pain and chaos, just that ever increasing oil prices are _the_ only thing that will force this change. All your correct observations that show how reliant we are on oil just guarantee that the only way this will change is by force, and that force will be economic. Big oil has too much lobbying power for any magic change to happen, especially since they've convinced their conservative constituents that burning through fuel in an SUV is a symbol of their freedom and appreciation for God's bountiful gifts. The good news is that you know it's coming.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        Yeah, it's a "self solving problem" on an economist's blackboard. In the real, actual world that we live in, that "self solution" will create enormous pain, leading to enormous disruptions in the economy. The sunk costs alone in our current oil-based infrastructure are huge, but the far greater problem is in-elasticity of oil use. People's lives are built around oil, and have been for a long time. That's why oil consumption is so slow to respond to price pressure. According to the IMF, a 50% increase in the price of oil leads to a 1.2% decrease in consumption short term, less then 5% long term. In other words, when oil gets expensive people suffer, but they still pay. Oil is simply "too big to fail". As the basis of our energy system, it entirely distorts traditional market mechanisms, and disruptions in oil have huge disruptive effects on the economy. It's no longer the relationship of supply and demand on your neat little blackboard; it's the desperate actions of a junkie who will do anything for a fix. To write of the havoc that peak oil will wreck as a "self solving problem" is glib to the point of senselessness. We cannot survive with seven billion people on the planet without oil, unless we radically, radically and expensively, remake how we collect and use energy. All problems are self solving in the long run. It's just a matter of whether or not you lose out in the "solution". BTW, beyond the fact that fracking poisons our other precious and overstretched liquid resource, potable water, natural gas also produces a massive amount of greenhouse gases as well. It has all the downsides of oil, with the sole exception that America has a, for now, supply of it, ending reliance the Middle East. Otherwise, meet the new boss.
        samagon0
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        peak oil simply means that we pumped more oil out of the ground at one time than we ever have in the past, and we ever will in the future. so it isn't a self solving problem. it is a problem that means we need to find a solution and fast. go watch the movie 'A Crude Awakening' it goes over peak oil in the US and how quickly we had to shift reliance to other sources of oil, only this time it's the entire globe, and we need to shift reliance to other fuels all together.
      Ben Crockett
      • 3 Years Ago
      It was an interesting to hear the people who should be in the know ie. the International Energy Agency admit that we are in a period of peak oil now instead of just denying it. A video for the story is here as shown on the ABC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIENCyqiJsw Note to author: you forgot to acknowledge my tip :)
        samagon0
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        will be interesting to see who else corroborates the peak oil story. I will have to go back and watch "A Crude Awakening"
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