Oil crunch in ‘next five years’, warns Branson
The following is an abbrieviated extract from an article by Terry Macalister that appeared in the UK Guardian on 8th February 2010 :
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group, and fellow businessmen have put out a warning to the British government that the world is running out of oil and faces an oil crunch within five years that could be even more serious than the credit crunch. He calls for action and says “This time, we do have the chance to prepare.” The oil companies and producers have been insisting that there is nothing to worry about, however, the issue was raised at the World Economic Forum in Davos where Thierry Desmarest, chief executive of Total Oil company in France said it could be a struggle to raise production levels and the problem of peak oil remains.
Independent oil consultant Chris Skrebowski, who prepared parts of a report for Branson and others, said that once current excess oil stocks and the large spare capacity held by OPEC are removed – possibly as early as 2012 – “oil prices are likely to spike, imperilling economic growth and causing economic dislocation.”