Falling oil output greater risk to UK than terrorism, says report


London : Falling oil production in coming years is greater risk to the UK than from the threat posed by terrorism, according to a new report from an industry taskforce.

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The report from the Peak Oil group warned that the problem of declining availability of oil will hit the UK earlier than generally expected – possibly within the next five years – as producer countries start to scale down the pumping of dwindling supplies.

But Peak Oil chairman Jeremy Leggett, who is also the executive chairman of alternative energy company Solarcentury, said Thursday it was not too late for politicians to make the decisions to protect the UK from the impact of reduced oil availability.

“Society has become oil-dependent to its rivets. What we are warning of is a peak in production beyond which will be a fall, potentially a rapid fall, and that will mean a global energy crisis if the analysis is correct,” Leggett said.

The report comes as Britain is becoming more reliant on important energy sources as oil and gas supplies from the UK sector of the North Sea have been dwindling for the past six years.

Some analysts have also suggested that global oil production has already peaked.

The chairman of Peak Oil argued that the oil industry and oil institutions have been “irrationally exuberant about their ability to meet demand going forward, in much the same way that the financial institutions.”

“When they fail to meet demand, many countries will experience this as an energy crisis. Some will experience it as an energy famine, as producers start to withhold exports,” he warned.

“What we are saying is let’s get this right. This crisis is being anticipated. Let’s do something about it, because we can,” Leggett said in an interview with BBC Radio Four’s flagship current affairs programme, Today.