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Monday, September 27, 2010

Keynote speaker at NZ Petroleum Conference confirms peak oil and warns of economic collapse

Farouk Al-Kasim. a Norwegian oil expert, was a invited by the NZ government to be a keynote speaker at the NZ Petroleum Conference.  But in an interview on Radio NZ with Kim Hill, he rained on the government's parade big time, stating that we have already reached global peak oil.  He also said that higher oil prices and oil scarcity will mean global recession and possibly economic collapse.

This is not a message Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee and the National government will wish you to hear .  The Draft Energy strategy does not even acknowledge peak oil as an issue worthy of mention, and the official government line is that oil depletion will not become a problem until 2030.

Here are the relevant extracts from the interview….

On Peak Oil

What is your view of Peak oil?

Has it happened yet?
"I think we are on the way down"

Norway has peaked about nine years ago is that right?

"Yes in Norway oil has become more difficult, more expensive and there is less of it". Norway is very similar to the world as a whole. We are on the down slope as far as oil is concerned. Gas is not catching up worldwide"

On the consequences of higher oil prices and oil scarcity

What would be the consequence of oil shortage?
"there will be economic recession all over the world".

What would occur if oil became too expensive or too scarce?
"so what happens to the economies? -- developing countries will die (dive?) further into poverty and misery and the so-called vibrating (vibrant?) economies of the world will collapse as they are partly doing now."

"No one has been arguing against the fact that we need to have stable prices in order to address the oil question and the coal question, as well as the world economy. These things are not isolated"

"We have a problem but we don't have the global politics to deal with it."

So how do we start weaning the world off fossil fuels?
"By accepting higher energy prices -- gradually - and by taking the task seriously of developing other sources of energy"

So what are the chances of orderly progress on oil supply/prices?
"the international situation means we will probably have to fumble, then stumble, and then we will get a disaster that will move us into action finally"


Stephanie said...

Thanks Dennis, another searching Kim Hill interview. Interestingly, Farouk hailed from Iraq. It's taken a very long time for peak oil perspectives to get into the media.

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