A report by the UK Energy Research Council (UKERC) said worldwide production of conventionally extracted oil could "peak" and go into terminal decline before 2020 – but that the government was not facing up to the risk.
Falls in production will lead to higher and more volatile prices, and could encourage investment in even more polluting fossil fuels, such as tar sands, which "need to stay in the ground" to avoid dangerous climate change as a result of carbon emissions, the researchers said.
The new report said there was too much geological, political and economic uncertainty to predict an exact date for peak oil, which would not lead to a sudden decline but a "bumpy plateau" with a downward trend in extraction.
But Steve Sorrell, chief author of the report, said while those who forecasted an imminent decline had underestimated oil reserves, more positive forecasts suggesting oil production will not peak before 2030 were "at best optimistic and at worst implausible"."
Link to Original Source