IEA chief economist -- 'we peaked in 2006'

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Fri Apr 29 21:55:40 BST 2011

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First the French Prime Minister, now ABA Australia TV has the IEA's chief 
economist says the peak was 2006.

Fatih Birol's been one of the more liberal voices at the IEA for a while -- 
now he's come out and said what many know to be the case. So, how long before 
our own politicians understand the reality of what this means?

You can find ABC Australia's 'Catalyst' programme at


Oil prices to keep rising as peak production reached in 2006

FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor, The Irish Times, Friday April 29th 2011

THE AGE of cheap oil is now over – and that’s official.

For the first time, the International Energy Agency has conceded that global 
crude oil production has already peaked and that the commodity will become 
more and more expensive.

In the Catalyst programme broadcast last night on Australia’s ABC1 television, 
the agency’s chief economist, Fatih Birol, said “peak oil” was reached in 

He said that he expected oil prices to rise by 30 per cent over the next three 

“The existing [oil] fields are declining so sharply that in order to stay where 
we are in terms of production levels in the next 25 years, we have to find and 
develop four new Saudi Arabias,” Dr Birol said.

“It is a huge, huge challenge that we continue to underline.”

Only five years ago, the agency – an independent, inter-governmental agency 
formed in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis – was confidently forecasting that 
crude oil production would increase to 120 million barrels a day by 2030.

Dr Birol said one of the conclusions the agency had come to was that the age 
of cheap oil was over.

Yesterday, light crude was trading at $113 per barrel and forecast to rise to 
$130 per barrel.

At the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, oil spiked to $148 per 

Global instability in oil-rich regions meant that crude oil would only get 
more expensive, according to Dr Birol.

“The amount of increase in the oil input bill in Europe is equal to the 
government budget deficit of Greece plus Portugal put together,” he said.

“If it increases further . . . we believe it will increase at least 20, 30 per 
cent higher in the next few years to come and this would mean additional 
pressure on the financing of many governments who are the oil importers.”

More expensive oil will make it more difficult for countries to break out of 

Dr Birol said more oil reserves “might be there”, but access was not.

There was also market manipulation.

“For some producers, it is better that oil doesn’t come to market so they 
would like to see perhaps higher prices as a result of tightness in the 
markets,” he said.

- -- 


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