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Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

See original story at the Guardian for more.

Editorial Notes: This could be big. Reuters has already picked up the story: IEA "whistleblower" says peak oil nearing: report. Let's see if the other news media realize the import of this leak from the IEA. Thanks to ML and DL for sending in the story. Also to M, who write: "Looks like the knowlege of peak oil will finally be brought home to the general awareness of governments and markets now that the IEA's figures are in doubt even within the organisation itself. Volatility would seem to be close." UPDATE - Related coverage: Audio report by Terry Macalister just posted November 10 at the Guardian. Energy body rejects whistleblower allegations of oil cover up (CNN) IEA: Washington made us fudge oil data (Teymoor Nabili at Al Jazeera) Too fearful to publicise peak oil reality (Madeleine Bunting in Guardian) -BA

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