Peak oil has already happened, says the International Energy Agency

Thanks for Transition Rutland for passing this one my way…

The International Energy Agency, the Paris-based organization that provides energy analysis to 28 industrialized nations has changed its mind. In line with many other analysts, they now agree that peak oil has already happened!

The agency concludes in its latest annual report, released in November, that production of conventional crude oil probably peaked  for good in 2006 at about 70 million barrels a day. Production from currently producing oil fields will drop sharply in coming decades, the report suggests.

At the same time strong demand growth from China, now the world’s largest energy user, and elsewhere will require liquid energy supplies not just to hold steady, but to climb by more than 20 percent.

According to Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA’s exec director,  it is far from certain that tar sands and  increased production of natural gas liquids can compensate for decreasing crude production. At the IEA reports press launch Tanaka said , “Recent events have cast a veil of uncertainty over our energy future …We need to use energy more efficiently and we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels by adopting technologies that leave a much smaller carbon footprint”.

IEA forecasts that oil prices should continue to climb in coming decades, reaching $135 a barrel by 2035, a price level that some economists believe contributed to the global economic collapse of 2008.

Some experts found the report’s projections troubling.

“It’s a perfect storm headed our way — a steady rise in global demand for oil crashing up against an increasingly limited supply of economically recoverable oil,” William Chameides, professor of environmental science at Duke University, wrote on his blog.


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