07 Mar 2008
When will Peak Oil Strike? The Renewable Energy Centre.co.uk comments on the debate
Peak Oil has been the subject of debate for many years and has largely been ignored by industry optimists but has continually worried many industry experts. The big question has it seems, finally been answered with new projections placing the point of peak oil occurring within the next 10 years.
The Renewable Energy Centre.co.uk today commented on the debate and the possible consequences of an early end to the UK’s oil dependant existence. It has been cited that the global discovery of oil actually peaked in 1962 and has been in decline ever since. This has been backed by fact that oil companies have cut oil exploration spend over the last 10 years and production of oil has stagnated at 85m barrels per day.
In terms of the UK, North Sea oil peaked in 1999 and it is widely recognised that the UK is now a net energy importer, leaving the country exposed and dependant on other nations for fuel. The Renewable Energy Centre commented that it is this issue which is causing concern among renewable energy campaigners as they urge the government to take decisive action in reducing carbon emissions as well as securing the future of the UK’s energy needs.
On a global scale, the peak oil debate has far reaching implications in terms of potential economic breakdown which will also undoubtedly affect the UK. An article in the Guardian quoted John Hess CEO of Hess Corporation who said “Given the long lead times of at least 5-10 years from discovery to production, an oil crisis is coming and sooner than most people think. Unfortunately, we are behaving in ways which suggest we do not know there is a serious problem.”
This, The Renewable Energy Centre said, was exactly the position in which the UK finds itself. Oil threads through every part of life, from food production, to packaging, to petrol, to industry, without it the economy fails. At worst, if and when peak oil finally hits, those countries producing oil could potentially withhold supplies in order to satisfy their own internal demands which could leave the importer stranded. The Renewable Energy Centre said that preparation and proactive action should to be taken in order to remedy UK dependence on oil. It stated the timeline between now and peak oil arriving “within” ten years is already too short but that the government was in a position to commit to a renewable policy which could significantly reduce the impact.
Richard Simmons, Managing Director at The Renewable Energy Centre said “It is the same in the UK as it is globally; no one will step forward and take the lead. Everyone is waiting for everything to happen, just in case it doesn’t! Climate change and peak oil are real and are happening. It will take a crisis such as peak oil for governments all over the globe to take any decisive action and by then it will be too late to prevent the social, economic and environmental fallout.”
He continued “We are continually promoting the renewable sector in the UK and lobbying the government for change and legislation in order to move forward, but I am sad to say it is likely to be the onslaught of a crisis, whether flooding, water shortages or the eradication of our oil supply that will bring about significant change.”
The Renewable Energy Centre said it was committed to highlighting the issues surrounding the peak oil debate and in doing so would proactively seek to encourage individuals, industry and government to adopt and promote renewable technologies throughout the UK.
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Notes for Editors:
The Renewable Energy Centre is committed to informing all online users about energy saving and renewable energy in order to:
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Angela Gallacher (Head of Press and Marketing)
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