WikiLeaks has spurred on more than a few scandals in the past year, from U.S. plans to sabotage Sea Shepherd to the Vatican’s approval of GMOs, but none of these PR nightmares has caused as much of a global stir as the most recent leak regarding peak oil.
“The cables…urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom’s crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40 percent” reports the Guardian.
In the classified cables, which date between 2007-2009, former head of exploration at Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, Sadad al-Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12 millions barrels a day in 10 years but before then — possibly as early as 2012 — global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as “peak oil”.
If accurate, this information casts a disparaging light on politicians and oil companies who reassured the public that oil reserves were plentiful, and said there was no need to move massive government subsidies away from the petroleum industry and into alternative energy sources.
In the last weeks of 2010, Care2′s Ann Bibby reported that oil prices were predicted to hit $100 in the New Year: a prediction that has already come true.
Regardless of the when, these cables confirm one important point: peak oil is real, and the window of time to prepare for it is getting smaller by the second.
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