The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has increased the chance of an oil supply crunch in the near future, the Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES) has warned. The loss of the Macondo oil field where the accident took place will not significantly reduce the amount of oil available. However, the six month moratorium on deepwater drilling will delay the arrival of new oil on the world markets.
By 2015, deepwater drilling will account for 29% of new oil – a sure sign that we have exhausted supplies of easy to reach oil. Meeting supply requires the steady development of deepwater fields, and a delay may means a shortfall as demand continues to grow. The taskforce briefing note outlines the consequences:
The Taskforce sees very major consequences of rising oil prices in the next few years. Without a strong and coordinated response from Government to protect the UK economy and society from rising prices, we will see the cost of travel, food, heating and retail goods rise which will impact British businesses and citizens alike. We also need to see much quicker action from Government to support the introduction of renewable energy technology and energy efficiency measures.
The last report from the taskforce, which includes a growing range of British businesses, suggested oil production would peak by 2015. It called on the government to take oil depletion more seriously and begin to push public transport and renewable energy. The government’s complacency on peak oil beggars belief. If the IEA is correct, the peak was already three years past when Malcolm Wicks wrote “there is no crisis” and confidently predicted rising supplies until 2030.