The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

IEA Forecasts Global Oil Production by Gaming the Numbers

by Aaron Turpen

Not only has the International Energy Agency (IEA) shown that oil extraction peaked in 2007/08, but a whistle blower has now come forward to say that the number of existing and “future” reserves have been overstated to prevent panic.

According to a news report in the Guardian, this senior official at the IEA says that the United States played a big role in influencing the IEA to de-emphasize the rate of decline and overstate the number of new reserves likely to be found. This comes as a refutation to the IEA’s new World Energy Outlook publication that released on the 10th.

The official prediction is that oil production can be increased to 105 million barrels daily from the current 83 million. Many critics question this, saying we passed peak production in 2007/08 at 87 million/day. This huge 105m prediction is a lower number than that given a few years ago at an unbelievable 120m by 2030. The optimistic numbers are despite the fact that the past two years have shown lower, not higher production rates.

Many world governments utilize the IEA numbers in assuming supply figures for coming decades. The United States relies in part on those numbers, the British government almost entirely, and the Australian and others do as well. With the accusations of this whistle blower, it’s no wonder the U.S. doesn’t base it’s entire policy on the IEA’s numbers, but we have to question why they would be pushing for a lie.

According to the unnamed whistle blower, it’s because allowing the real numbers to be released would mean a panic and a rush on oil futures. If this is true, why haven’t the “alternative energy loving” Obama Administration and the politicians who tout Cap and Trade and all the rest backed off from this pressure or allowed the truth to come out?

Well, it could be that there is no “truth” to be let out and the IEA’s numbers are perfectly accurate (or as reasonably accurate as can be expected). Or it could be that Obama and the Congress aren’t really sold on alternative energy and are only giving it lip service and further realize that Cap and Trade will do nothing to curb oil usage. Given the track record of our politicians, I’m more likely to accept the latter explanation.

Regardless, there are others to back up the peak oil claims being made. The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC), and others have said we’re already at, near, or past the peak production and the IEA is wrong. The IEA’s own graphs show these critics to be correct.

In The Sustainability Factor, I talked about how Peak Oil would be just the tip of the iceberg as we reach Peak Everything and our modern consumerism will throw us into the garbage pit with the rest of our refuse. It’s time to start re-thinking our ways and realizing that these government stooges don’t have our best interests at heart.

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