Kjell Aleklett of Uppsala University had to politely endure a calculated put-down from Dr Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency when Aleklett dared to question the IEA’s compulsively gung ho projections for oil production during a presentation in Stockholm this week.
This weekend, Aleklett is presenting his analysis of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2012 at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, in Texas.
There’s a lot of good stuff in the article linked above but the following quote just nicely puts the IEA’s position over the years into context:
Eight years ago, when I began to criticise the WEO projections, WEO-2004 predicted oil production in Saudi Arabia of 22.5 Mb/d in 2025. Now WEO-2012 paints a completely different picture. In 2011 Saudi oil production was 11.1 Mb/d and the IEA now predicts this will decline to 10.6 Mb/d by 2020 before growing to 10.8 Mb/d in 2025! Then production will continue to grow to reach 12.3 Mb/d by 2035. In the criticism that I advanced in 2004 I said that 22.5 Mb/d for Saudi Arabia in 2025 was completely unrealistic. The IEA’s current prediction of 10.8 Mb/d in 2025 shows that I was correct.
They’ve halved their projection for Saudi output in just eight years but still they tell us that everything will be just hunky dory for at least the next 25. Yeah right.
We won’t run out of oil in my lifetime or my kids’. But we’re already running short of the flow rates we need to keep our economy from stagnating.
And that’s a situation that no amount of friendly bluffing from the good Dr Birol can disguise for much longer.