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Australian government tries to hide its own peak oil report

Australian government tries to hide its own peak oil report

by Denis Tegg on 22 January 2012

The Daily Telegraph has revealed how the Australian government has attempted to suppress its own report on peak oil. The response from the New Zealand government had been equally secretive and obfuscating.

The Report by the Australian Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) is called “Transport Energy Futures; long-term oil supply trends and predictions” and can be downloaded as a pdf here

The 470 page report concludes that world oil production will peak in approximately 2016 and then begin to decline for the rest of the century and beyond.

"Given the growth in deep and non-conventional oil balancing the shallow decline in conventional production, it is predicted that we have entered about 2006 onto a slightly upward slanting plateau in potential oil production that will last only to about 2016-eight years from now (2008). After that, the modelling is forecasting what can be termed ‘the 2017 drop-off’.

The outlook under a base case scenario is for a long decline in oil production to begin in 2017, which will stretch to the end of the century and beyond. Projected increases in deep water and non-conventional oil, which are ‘rate-constrained’ in ways that conventional oil is not, will not change this pattern."

The report has never been published on an Australian Government website (unlike all other BITRE reports), but has now mysteriously appeared on a French website (leaked?) and from there has now gone mainstream.

The New Zealand government approach to peak oil has been equally secretive but much more cunning. Although the National government received very strong advice from officials in 2009 confirming New Zealand's high vulnerability to oil shocks, it has decided that the peak oil issue is altogether too sensitive to risk obtaining further advice on. NZ Report here: http://www.manicore.com/fichiers/Australian_Govt_Oil_supply_trends.pdf

Better not to ask any questions when you don't have any answers.

This ostrich approach was confirmed from my official information request in late 2001. The response I received was that no specific advice on the risks and impacts to New Zealand of a potential decline in world oil production had been requested or received since 2008.