World's Oil Reserves Exaggerated By One-Third

Britain's former chief scientist, Sir David King, warns of shortages and price spikes within years.

Published: 23-Mar-2010

The world's oil reserves have been exaggerated by up to a third, according to Sir David King, Britain's former chief scientist, who has warned of shortages and price spikes within years.

The scientist and researchers from Oxford University argue that official figures are inflated because member countries of the oil cartel, OPEC, over-reported reserves in the 1980s when competing for global market share.

Their new research argues that estimates of conventional reserves should be downgraded from 1,150bn to 1,350bn barrels to between 850bn and 900bn barrels and claims that demand may outstrip supply as early as 2014. The researchers claim it is an open secret that OPEC is likely to have inflated its reserves, but that the International Energy Agency (IEA), BP, the Energy Information Administration and World Oil do not take this into account in their statistics.

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