There was a report by the Guardian this Monday that a “whistleblower” from the International Energy Agency (IEA) claims that IEA has been, for years, over-reporting the estimates of oil reserves around the world under pressure from the U.S. government. This would certainly be a cause for celebration by many peak oil theorists such as Matt Simmons, since on the surface, the story is quite plausible.
But before coming to such conclusion, I, for one, simply have not seen proof or evidence offered by the Guardian article nor by the anonymous "whistleblower." On that note, the credibility score went down from there, at least for me.
Facts and proof aside, the first thing popped into my mind is why? The U.S. is a net importer of about 8.8 million b/d of oil as of last month. With the Obama administration's green movement at full speed, understating the oil supply would probably serve the U.S. agenda better than overstating?
Along that same logic, FT.com today published an article refuting the Guardian story. The article says:
"We were particularly baffled by one sentence attributed to one of the Guardian’s sources:
“And the Americans fear the end of oil supremacy because it would threaten their power over access to oil resources.”
The US is a net importer of oil and its own oil production is pretty much universally agreed to have peaked. Non-Opec oil supply is also due to peak - according to the IEA’s own report - by 2010, meaning the US will be increasingly dependent on other countries.
So, the allegation is that the US has been talking up future oil production prospects to make it look like it will be more dependent on Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran and Venezuela? It all sounds very odd…."
Unfortunately, getting to the bottom of this is next to impossible. So, it looks like this could become part of the ongoing debate between peak oil and non-peak oil camps. Meanwhile, you may read the full FT article here: Did the US pressure the IEA over oil supply forecasts?