Oil drought could be our saviour
When Lord Browne, BP's chief executive, recently stated that oil reserves were enough to support current production for around 40 years, it would have been music to the ears of the politically complacent. Thus the economic and social pain of our having to be quickly weaned off cheap oil and gas could safely be filed away under Nimtoo (not in my term of office).
What, however, if another former oil man and geologist Dr Colin Campbell is right. He worked for BP and Amoco and is founder of the Association for Study of Peak Oil. This group of former oil men and academics are on record as stating that discovery has declined since 1964, that the world started finding less oil than it consumed in 1981 and that it now finds about one barrel for every five it consumes.
Their conclusion is that peak production could be reached by around 2007 followed by a decline, if it has not already done so. The resulting continued and rising energy prices could be devastating economically since, according to Dr Campbell, all company accounts assume a "business as usual" supply of the cheap energy on which their operations depend. Politically this brings us firmly into the domain of Yimtoo - Yikes! In my term of office!