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Letter from Malcolm Wicks

 
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Joe



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 596
Location: Leeds

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Letter from Malcolm Wicks Reply with quote

Hi all.

Received this yesterday from my MP, Hilary Benn:

Quote:
Dear Hilary,

Thank you for your letter dated 7 September to Gordon Brown enclosing correspondence from your constituent about energy prices. I am replying as the minister with responsibility for this issue.

The Government's assessment of the remaining lifespan of global oil reserves is outlined set out [sic] in the Energy White Paper 2003, "Our energy future - creating a low carbon economy" (http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper/index.shtml). To quote from paragraph 6.15, 'Globally, conventional oil reserves are sufficient to meet projected demand for around 30 years, although new discoveries will be needed to renew reserves. Together with non-conventional reserves such as oil shales and improvements in technology, there is potential for oil reserves to last twice as long.'

This is consistent with the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency in its 2004 World Energy Outlook. The IEA concludes that '...global production of conventional oil will not peak before 2030 if the necessary investments are made.' Although the IEA notes that reserve additions from discoveries of new oil fields have fallen sharply since the 1960s, it notes that this is largely the result of reduced exploration activity in those regions with the largest reserves. For example, only 3% of wildcat wells drilled in the ten years to 2002 were in the Middle East, even though the region is thought to hold over a quarter of the worlds undiscovered resources of oil and gas. There is likely to be a rebound in exploration and appraisal drilling in the Middle East in the coming decades, which will help boost the level of proven-global oil reserves. Moreover, technology improvements will continue to increase recovery rates from existing fields.

However, the Government recognises that global oil (and gas) reserves are ultimately finite and that significant investment will be required to turn reserves into production. The UK is therefore working with producers, consumers and the international community to improve the conditions for investment in the international energy sector. On the demand side, the Government is working with developing countries to encourage more effective management of energy demand, through energy efficiency improvements and the development of renewable sources of energy.

Domestically, we remain committed to maximising the economic recovery of the UK's own oil and gas reserves. The PILOT initiative - a joint programme involving the Government and the UK oil & gas Industry - is central to this aim. Whilst production is now beginning to decline slowly, current estimates show that there could be around 14 billion barrels of oil still to be produced from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf - compared with a total of 23 billion barrels which has been produced since the mid 1960s. As a result, the UK will continue to be a significant oil producer for at least 20 years, and probably longer

Moreover, as set out in the White Paper, the Government is already putting in place policies that will help ease the UK economy away from power supplied primarily through fossil fuel supply as well as bringing about reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Ultimately, market mechanisms will ration the remaining supplies of oil and incentivise a shift to alternative sources of energy but appropriate action can be taken in support of this and to promote energy efficiency.

In the domestic sector, it is important that we must be as energy efficient as is practical and affordable. The Government is tackling household energy efficiency using a number of different approaches including grants, incentives and the provision of information and advice.

Renewable energy will also play an important part in reducing carbon emissions, while also strengthening energy security and improving our industrial competitiveness as we develop cleaner technologies, products and processes. Our aim fore renewables is that they should supply 10% of our electricity in 2010 and aspire to double the share of electricity from renewables by 2020.

The Government also published, in July 2002, a Powering Future Vehicles strategy which brings together measures for promoting a shift to low-carbon vehicles and fuels. In the foreword to this strategy, The Prime Minister spelled out his objective that the UK should lead the global shift to the low-carbon economy. Accordingly, we have set targets that within the next decade, one in ten new cars sold in the UK will be low-carbon vehicles, and that one in five buses will also be low carbon. In the longer-term, we are planning for both hydrogen and biomass fuels to play major roles in a low-carbon transport economy, with benefits also in terms of improved energy diversity and security.

Best Wishes,

Malcolm Wicks


Last edited by Joe on Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bandidoz
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Berks

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Letter from Malcolm Wicks Reply with quote

It's worth coupling this kind of lip-service to what's actually happening. For instance,
Quote:
The Prime Minister spelled out his objective that the UK should lead the global shift to the low-carbon economy
Airport expansion is hardly going down the road of conservation, in fact, in Blair's own words, "The Environment is important but I don't want to do anything that impacts air travel" (words to that effect).

Quote:
although new discoveries will be needed to renew reserves.
*cough* that says a lot....
So the policy is to choose to follow the US's pattern of "foreign resource dependence" - hmmmm, sensible Razz

Quote:
Although the IEA notes that reserve additions from discoveries of new oil fields have fallen sharply since the 1960s, it notes that this is largely the result of reduced exploration activity in those regions with the largest reserves. For example, only 3% of wildcat wells drilled in the ten years to 2002 were in the Middle East, even though the region is thought to hold over a quarter of the worlds undiscovered resources of oil and gas.

I suspect Campbell/Simmons would have an answer to that. (jake@peakoil.ie?) - also try David Room [dave@postcarbon.org)
Why is Saudi Arabia buying offshore capacity?
Probably also worth pointing out that ultimate recovery from offshore is not as good as onshore - so depletion rates are faster and the "EROEI cutoff" means that more will be left in the ground. Also, as we've witnessed recently, offshore capacity is vulnerable to extreme weather, which is on the increase.....
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention that the majority of what's left is going to be "yukky" crude......
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