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Submission + - Peak Oil Could Hit Soon, Report Says ( 1

chrnb writes: "There is a "significant risk" that global oil production could begin to decline in the next decade, researchers said today.
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"."

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Peak Oil Could Hit Soon, Report Says

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  • Seriously, quantities matter, but only up to a point. When we get to the point where the energy of one barrel of oil is required to retrieve one barrel of oil, it's game over for oil as a significant energy source. At the end, we'll leave lots of oil in the ground, because it won't make sense to retrieve it.

    One the good/bad side, prices will go up wildly before then, making the long tail of oil use last longer and making possible more transitional energy storage and production technology.

    The 64 billion doll

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