Washington: In a startling revelation, a senior official associated with the International Energy Agency (IEA) has claimed that the data relating to global oil reserves has been twisted under pressure from the US.
The official, on the condition of anonymity, has disclosed that IEA has been constantly underplaying a looming shortage of oil as the US feared that original estimates would actually trigger panic buying.
In a sense the energy watchdog misguided nations about the rate of decline of oil from the existing fields and also deliberately predicted the chances of finding more reserves.
The allegations, in totality, suggest that the oil reserves across the world will decline at a much faster rate that what has been predicted by the IEA under the US influence.
The revelations also raises a question mark mover the legitimacy of the World Economic Outlook on oil demand and supply presented by the IEA since the figures are used by several nations and oil giants in formulating their business strategies and policies related to the climate change.
The energy watchdog in its last World Economic outlook predicted that oil production can be raised from its current level of 83m barrels a day to 105m barrels.
The IEA report also suggested that the world is yet to achieve its peak in oil production. The watchdog in 2005 had predicted that oil supplies could rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030. However, it was forced to lower its predictions gradually to 116m and then 105m last year.
But now, the new revelations have raised doubts if there is any concrete evidence to substantiate the predictions of IEA.
Referring to the peak oil theory propounded by the IEA, the critics now say that the world has already surpassed its peak in oil production and any chances of reaching new heights in future are grim.
The critics also argue that let alone finding new reserves, maintaining the oil supplies at even 90m to 95m barrels a day would be impossible in today’s scenario.
Further, there are concerns in US that if the real figures are revealed it would trigger panic in the financial market and eventually end the America’ oil supremacy as it would cease its easy access to oil resources.
Meanwhile, the US has for long faced allegations of secretly amassing huge reserves of oil for its future requirements.
These claims substantiate what Colin Campbell, a former executive with Total of France said in a conference in 2004, "If the real (oil reserve) figures were to come out there would be panic on the stock markets … in the end that would suit no one."