Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: Whistleblower says IEA Lied About How Much Oil is Left

Sharon November 10th, 2009


You’ll all want to see this – it seems like the mainstream media is picking it up.  It turns out that an IEA whistleblower is alleging that the IEA, succumbing to US government pressure, has been understating the seriousness of our energy situation.  And if you don’t follow the IEA, you probably don’t realize how extreme a statement that is – late last year the IEA announced that was predicting extremely high decline rates, of above 6% going into the coming decades.  They claimed this stemmed not from peak oil, but from insufficient investment, but the numbers they cited were at least as dramatic as the most extreme peak oil advocates in many cases.  So you want to pay attention when people say that the IEA has dramatically understated the concern. 

Perhaps more importantly, these allegations, if true, will confirm what independent Petroleum Geologists have been saying for years now – that we simply can’t trust national interests to honestly state our oil reserves.  Basically, we have no idea how much oil we have left – except that it is almost certainly less than we imagined.


14 Responses to “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: Whistleblower says IEA Lied About How Much Oil is Left”

  1. Julieon 10 Nov 2009 at 10:42 am

    Even though we have known this for a while…. it still gives me a cold chill up my spine to hear it.

  2. Paulon 10 Nov 2009 at 11:34 am

    Unless I am mistaken, it appears CNN International has an article about this whistleblower issue while CNN U.S. has little to nothing about the International Energy Agency in its entire archives, let alone an article today. If one searches for “International Energy Agency,” on, a link to the CNN International edition article appears. In other words, one would not even stumble upon this issue at Rather, one would need to actively search for any news about IEA, or as many of us have probably learned, just look to other sources.

    It’s sad to see how little attention the U.S. MSM gives such weighty issues.

    At least climate change is not such a backburner issue any more.

    It seemed that 2007 was the year of Climate Change Awareness, and I really thought 2008 would be the year of Peak Oil awareness. Similarly, I thought 2009 would be the year of Economic Disparity/Disfunction Awareness.

    Sadly, all that has occurred is mass greenwashing as a result of Climate Change Awareness.

    All I can do is have hope for 2010.

  3. Jenon 10 Nov 2009 at 11:37 am

    For me this info only reinforces our resolve to use the next 18 months for the serious AIP plans we have set up. We were just talking this morning about a large cistern, now that we have room to dig and maybe a turbine to maintain refridgeration. I have no faith that our gov will do the right thing and the media refuses to be honest.

  4. Jenon 10 Nov 2009 at 11:39 am

    Paul- my prediction is the end of 2010 will see a full out depression so maybe some awareness of THAT will seep in!

  5. Shambaon 10 Nov 2009 at 11:42 am

    Garsh! Who woulda thought such a thing was possible–both the not telling the truth and the thought that we are running out of oil!!!!!

    thanks for the story link, Sharon.

    Peace, Shamba

  6. Susanon 10 Nov 2009 at 11:42 am

    This story WAS picked up by so it is available in the US, you just have to search places that pick up the not so published news.

    I would bet Ilargi and Stoneleigh have this linked as well, although I haven’t gotten my fix of doomer porn yet today to know for sure. :) (reading them is depressing, but at least I knew ahead of time thanks to them that I was going to be on the chopping block. It didn’t come as a huge surprise.)

  7. Paulon 10 Nov 2009 at 11:56 am

    Jen: I share your belief that we’ll be in full-blown depression by the end of 2010, although I am hoping for another miraculous scenario.

    Susan: Thanks for the link. I just wish that more than a sliver of the 200 millionish adults in this country would seek out alternate news sources, but since they don’t, it’s just disheartening to see the relative lack of coverage.

    Finally, in my post, “disfunction” obviously should have been “dysfunction.” Oops.

  8. Mia @ agoodhumanon 10 Nov 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Wow….that sure is interesting. My heart is beating a little faster now.

    Lately I’ve been feeling the need to get prepared much faster than I’m currently able. I fear this is all going to be upon us sooner rather than later.

  9. Karenon 10 Nov 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I read in the Wall Street Journal today that 1.3 million people will be out of unemployment insurance by the end of the year. “Things are unravelling fast now Aladdin”

  10. hughowenson 10 Nov 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks Sharon for posting your comment on the whistleblower at the IEA. Did you notice they did not give his(her) name? I was going to feature this tidbit on my energy blog as well this morning but chose to emphasize the almost completely ignored report from Reuters of The Saudis moving to have their crude listed on the Argus US Sour Crude Index in London. Seems they are sick of priced in dollars volatility and the future speculators at the NYMEX. There are a lot of potential implications to this move besides the possible end of petrodollar pricing.

  11. Lisa Zon 10 Nov 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I first heard about this on NPR this morning. They interviewed someone, whom I believe was from The Guardian, about it. I hardly heard it because I was so astonished, and went looking for the internet link right away!

  12. Danielon 10 Nov 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Do go on and read professor and ASPO president Aleklett’s comments on his personal blog about behinde-the-scenes knowledge of IEA’s fudging and politcal massaging of its figures:

    “The pressure [in 2004] was that the IEA should consider the prognoses that USA’s Energy Information Agency releases half a year earlier as guidelines for the IEA report. [...] I have, at various times, communicated my view that Guy Caruso (who was then responsible for the EIA and its prognoses) was one of the world’s most dangerous people. Today a great deal of the responsibility for this situation rests with him. I have also asserted that I did not think that the level of competence within the IEA could be so low that all of its officers believed in what they have been presenting. What these faulty analyses will cost the world in the future is difficult to estimate but all the crisis packages that are currently in place are presumably a smaller part of that cost.”

  13. Bill--TNon 11 Nov 2009 at 1:07 am

    Well, it surely seems that that the oil-driven and enabled economy is at an end. At least this possibilility, probability, ought to be on everyone’s mind.

    The American populace is so totally ignorant of this and the consequences.

    Makes me sad and, at the same time, glad that I’m of the age I am. Future generations are screwed by this system—they just can’t see it yet.

    A lifestyle based on oil and suburbia is just a total looser.

    In my humble opinion.


  14. curiousalexaon 11 Nov 2009 at 7:05 am

    I was at my ex-boyfriends last night packing up the last of my stuff. I mentioned this report – his answer was “of course they lied, duh!” in a way that indicated it didn’t matter.

    I asked him if he wasn’t concerned that commercial agriculture and its delivery system is dependent on affordable and available petroleum, and he shrugged it off. Something will replace oil.

    He then told me about a new battery technology that is expected to be available in 5 years, that solar has now reached price parity with oil, and we (the US?) have lots of fallow fields we can plant with more food.

    He is firmly in the ‘technology will save us’ camp. I’m firmly in the ‘I’ll believe the technology when I see it, meanwhile I’m making other plans’ camp. We’re both boggled by the other’s viewpoint, and are now headed in different directions.

    I hope he’s right, but I can’t bring myself to have his faith in *promised* technology. I hope I’m wrong, because he’ll be among the millions to suffer.
    Either way, I cannot in good conscience continue living the American Dream Lifestyle. And this report just reinforces my decisions.

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