Energy group warns of threat to oil supplies

Oil supplies to the UK could start to run out in five years according to a report published today.

The report from the Peak Oil group warns that oil drillers will reach the maximum they can produce and production will start to decline earlier than was previously expected.
Peak Oil chairman Dr Jeremy Leggett, the executive chairman of alternative energy company Solarcentury said politicians could still protect the UK from the impact of reduced oil availability.
Mr Leggett told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Society has become oil-dependent to its rivets. What we are warning of is a peak in production beyond which will be a fall, potentially a rapid fall, and that will mean a global energy crisis if the analysis is correct.
"What we are arguing is that the oil industry and oil institutions have been irrationally exuberant about their ability to meet demand going forward, in much the same way that the financial institutions have been irrationally exuberant about their ability to manage complex financial instruments.
"When they fail to meet demand, many countries will experience this as an energy crisis. Some will experience it as an energy famine, as producers start to withhold exports."
He added: "What we are saying is let's get this right. This crisis is being anticipated. Let's do something about it, because we can."
The report states there are three possible outcomes - a collapse in production, a decline, or a plateauing of production once peak oil is reached.
The Peak Oil group is formed of representatives from eight British engineering, utility and transport companies, including Virgin, Yahoo and energy company Scottish and Southern. Dr Jeremy Leggett was a former geologist and oil industry before setting up solar energy company Solarcentury.

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