On the 14th of June, The Independent newspaper in the UK published an article warning that major oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected.
The article was prompted by the release of BP's annual Statistical Review of World Energy, which appears to show that the world still has enough "proven" reserves to provide 40 years of consumption at current rates. The assessment, based on officially reported figures, has once again pushed back the estimate of when the world will run dry.
But according to Dr. Colin Campbell, fomer chief geologist and vice-president at major oil companies including BP, Shell, Fina, Exxon and ChevronTexaco, while BP's Statistical Review is the most widely used estimate of world oil reserves, it is really only a summary of highly political estimates supplied by governments and oil companies.
Dr Campbell is quoted in the article as saying: "When I was the boss of an oil company I would never tell the truth. It's not part of the game."
In response to the article Jeremy Leggett, a geologist-turned conservationist told Global Public Media "the fact is a British newspaper has now run a major front page story and they tell me that they intend to revisit this subject regularly in the same way that they did with climate change - in other words they're going to turn it into a bit of a campaign."
To Chris Skrebowski, editor of the UK Petroleum Review, "the fact that the [UK] Independent was prepared to unequivocally go for the subject, making it the whole front page and all the second page, I think it represents something of a breakthrough, because it means it may be easier to talk about this rather major challenge to our societies."
Related video: The Coming Oil Supply Crisis