Experts dispute oil reserves countdown
Soaring oil prices have stirred a long-standing debate among experts about how much crude remains in the ground and how to manage the countdown to when the reserves run dry.
"We have all been enjoying the greatest party the world has ever seen: the great oil party," said Kjell Aleklett, president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, an informal network of scientists and oil experts which aims to make "the world aware that the party is over".
"Few of us have realized that it was a party, still less that it is now reaching its climax as the champagne corks pop on all sides," Aleklett said, making an analogy between oil and champagne.
"After the climax comes the decline when we have to sober up and face the fact that the party is coming to an end," he said.
The association maintains that the peak after which oil production begins to decline is much closer than is commonly thought, standing somewhere between 2008 and 2010 for oil and 2013 for gas.