International Energy Agency Whistleblowers: We're Running Out of Oil
Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Daniel Lerch
Two whistleblowers inside the International Energy Agency (IEA) — the official energy analysis body of the world's industrialized countries — have claimed that the United States has been pressuring the IEA to make the global oil situation situation appear rosier than it is.
In an article released Monday night by The Guardian (UK), one of the sources — an anonymous senior IEA official — stated what has long been suspected by critics of the agency but never before admitted publicly:
The IEA in 2005 was predicting oil supplies could rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030 although it was forced to reduce this gradually to 116m and then 105m last year...The 120m figure always was nonsense but even today's number is much higher than can be justified and the IEA knows this...
Many inside the organisation believe that maintaining oil supplies at even 90m to 95m barrels a day would be impossible but there are fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down further. And the Americans fear the end of oil supremacy because it would threaten their power over access to oil resources...
(Global oil production is currently at 83 m barrels a day.)
The Guardian reported of the second whistleblower:
A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added
The Guardian article came ahead of the Tuesday release of the IEA's annual World Energy Outlook (download Executive Summary). While the story has been picked up by Reuters and reappeared in the wire feeds of news outlets across the U.S., as of Tuesday afternoon it is not to be found on the front pages nor the front Business pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, or the Houston Chronicle.
Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg posted a response to the news.
Related coverage (via EnergyBulletin.net):
Key Oil Figures Were Distorted by US Pressure, Says Whistleblower (Terry Macalister in the Guardian)
Audio report by Terry Macalister (Guardian)
IEA: Washington made us fudge oil data (Teymoor Nabili at Al Jazeera)
Too fearful to publicise peak oil reality (Madeleine Bunting in Guardian)
Comments on Guardian article (Aleklett's Energy Mix: )