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Experts to Assess World Oil Supply Limits
by iNet News Manager
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Paris, France •• May 2, 2003 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service ••
International Workshop on Oil Depletion
Institut Français du Pétrole, Paris, France
May 26-27, 2003

International experts will assess the likely impacts of diminishing world oil supplies at a two-day workshop on oil depletion in Paris on May 26-27. Organised by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO), an alliance of European scientists, the workshop will take place at the Institut Français du Pétrole.

A growing number of analysts now predict that global oil production will peak within the coming decade and then start to decline, leading to higher energy prices with major economic consequences.

Oil is the largest single traded commodity in the world. It supplies about 95 percent of all transportation fuels and 40 percent of the world’s commercial energy. It also provides feedstock for thousands of manufactured products and is critical for food production.

Some major oil companies have recently acknowledged the increasing difficulties of finding and producing new sources of oil to replenish reserves. While consumption has continued to rise, worldwide oil discoveries have declined steadily since the 1960s despite extensive exploration with the most advanced technologies. The world now uses more than three times the amount of oil it finds in a year.

“The time has come for a rational response to the inescapable reality that oil is finite and available supplies will soon be insufficient to satisfy growing demand,” said petroleum geologist Dr. Colin J. Campbell, one of the workshop organisers and a trustee of the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC). ODAC is an educational charity working to raise public awareness of the world’s oil-depletion problem.

“The only option is to reduce our dependence on oil by using less and developing viable alternatives as quickly as possible,” Dr Campbell said.

Experts taking part in the workshop, from Europe, the United States, Russia and the Middle East, will evaluate the latest oil-depletion evidence and its implications. They include current and former oil industry executives, petroleum analysts, engineers, economists and academics. The French Petroleum Institute’s Chairman, Olivier Appert, will give the opening address.

“This forum will provide a valuable opportunity for experts from around the world to exchange information and views on an immensely important but largely unrecognised problem,” Dr Campbell said.

“The world is not about to run out of oil anytime soon,” he said. “But we do need to understand and face up to the fact that the era of cheap, abundant supplies of our most versatile and convenient form of energy is rapidly coming to an end.”

For further information contact:

Jim Meyer +44 (0)20 7424 0049

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