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Written Parliamentary Question 19th July 2007

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: Oil

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the Government plan to review their estimate of when global oil supply will peak following the recent Medium Term Oil Market report published by the International Energy Agency; and if he will make a statement on global oil supplies.



A:Although the International Energy Agency's (IEA) July 2007 Medium-Term Oil Market Report has revised downwards projections for future global oil production capacity, it nevertheless still sees total capacity increasing by around 10 per cent. between 2007 and 2012 and remaining above demand. Moreover, the report also notes that:

"While hydrocarbon resources are finite, nonetheless issues of access to reserves, prevailing investment regime and availability of upstream infrastructure and capital seem greater barriers to medium-term growth than limits to the resource base itself."

The IEA report therefore supports the approach set out in chapter 1 of the 2007 Energy White Paper: that the key challenge is not one of insufficient global oil resources, but rather one of promoting—domestically and internationally—more investment across the energy sector and also improvements in energy efficiency.
Malcolm Wicks (Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform)

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