The Oil Depletion Protocol
|The "Oil Depletion Protocol" (also know as the "Uppsala
Protocol" and the "Rimini Protocol") was first proposed by the world
famous petroleum geologist Dr Colin Campbell in 1996. The objective
of the protocol is to enable the signatory nations to slowly phase
out their dependence upon finite, and rapidly diminishing, Oil.
Although it will have global effect only when Nations sign up to its
framework, individuals, companies and other organisations can all
sign up to support the protocol. Krofire Enterprises Ltd, and
Carbon-Cutters.com, signed up to the Protocol in April 2008 and
March 2007, respectively.
Why the need?
|Oil Depletion has been a matter of commonly accepted scientific
fact since M King Hubbert accurately predicted the peak of North
American Oil Production for the early 1970's. Since then geologists
have differed about the date of the Global Peak but it has broadly
been plotted, by most, as around 2005 to 2015. Governmental
organisations, some oil companies and middle-eastern producers have
since obscured data on Oil reserves and supplied over-optimistic
projections of potential supply. However, even the most optimistic
estimates of Peak put it no later than 2030. Nobody disagrees on its
inevitability. It will happen within most of our lifetimes.
|After "Peak Oil" the Oil supply rate can never increase, it will
decline. Demand is increasing exponentially as the newly
industrialised nations adopt cars, fridges, TV's, roads,
infrastructure, computers and so on. Industrialisation increases the
dependency upon oil, not only for energy but also for the feedstock
used to produce practically everything - from plastics and medicines
to fertiliser and clothing. For example, ten calories of fossil fuel
energy are used to produce every calorie of our food. Even if no
developing countries were evolving fossil-fuel-dependent industry,
the rate of economic growth in already-industrialised nations would
bring on oil-depletion.
At Peak the price of oil, and everything else rises
uncontrollably. Since we need increasing oil supplies to maintain
our Businesses, Economies, Jobs and way of life then Military
intervention will follow with Terrorism following swiftly
afterwards. People and Businesses will find that normal operations
will become impossible in a world of sky-rocketing prices and fading
stability. Recession and Economic collapse will follow. This could
happen very quickly after the half-way-point of oil depletion.
It is not the end of oil that will be our challenge. Fossil fuels
will be around for hundreds of years. The Peak is a 'tipping point'
after which the pace of change may be extremely rapid. The speed at
which alternatives to oil come on to the market is not going to keep
up with the pace of such change. Hence the Oil Depletion Protocol.
What does the Protocol say?
|Here we will summarise and paraphrase the Protocol for our
Business readership. To read the original please go
- History has seen an increasing pace of change. Energy demand
has grown rapidly in parallel with World population over the
last 200 years since the Industrial Revolution.
- The rise in energy supply has come mainly for fossil fuels.
Such fuels are finite therefore are subject to inevitable
- Oil supplies 90% of transport fuel and is essential to trade
and agriculture (to feed the expanding population).
- Oil is not distributed evenly and is concentrated largely
under just five middle-eastern countries.
- We have largely discovered all of this planet's oil
reserves. Despite rapid changes in technology and geological
knowledge, the discovery of new Oil reserves peaked in the
- Since we keep using more and more oil, but discover less and
less, then a peak in production is inevitable within the first
decade of the 21st Century
- Oil is a critical resource which affects all aspects of
modern life so its depletion will have grave political and
- It is necessary to plan an orderly transition to a new
reality of a world of reduced energy supply. Action has to be
taken early to avoid wasting energy, to stimulate the entry of
substitute energies and to prolong the life of the remaining oil
- It is only desirable to meet these challenges in a
co-operative and equitable manner, such as to address climate
change, economic and financial stability, and to avoid conflicts
Therefore the Oil Depletion Protocol proposes that Nations should
convene to agree an accord with the following objectives:
- to avoid profiteering from shortage, such that oil prices may remain in
reasonable relationship with production cost;
- to allow poor countries to afford their imports;
- to avoid destabilising financial flows arising from excessive oil prices;
- to encourage consumers to avoid waste;
- to stimulate the development of alternative energies.
Such an Accord shall have the following outline provisions:
- The world and every nation shall aim to reduce oil
consumption by at least the world depletion rate.
- No country shall produce oil at above its present depletion
- No country shall import at above the world depletion rate.
Detailed provisions shall cover the definition of the several
categories of oil, exemptions and qualifications, and the scientific
procedures for the estimation of Depletion Rate.
The signatory countries shall cooperate in providing information
on their reserves, allowing full technical audit, such that the
Depletion Rate may be accurately determined.
The signatory countries shall have the right to appeal their
assessed Depletion Rate in the event of changed circumstances
|The signatory countries shall cooperate in providing information
on their reserves, allowing full technical audit, such that the
Depletion Rate may be accurately determined. The signatory countries
shall have the right to appeal their assessed Depletion Rate in the
event of changed circumstances.
Why not let the Market worry about this?
|An assessment was undertaken in Feb '05 for the US Department of
Energy called "Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation,
& Risk Management" (by the 'Science Applications International
Corporation') . The report dismisses the idea that the market could
make good any shortages in oil. Price can only signal immediate
scarcity by which time it will be too late to do anything about it.
Work must be undertaken years in advance to prepare the way forward
when market forces and price will become a factor. However we cannot
rest entirely on Market Forces any more than we can rely upon the
Market to raise Armies, ban Child Pornography or control the Hole in
the Ozone layer. Since it is a matter of financial stability and
Economic security, upon which Markets rely, then International
cooperation at Governmental level is necessary. The Oil Market has
not traditionally been left to market forces and has been controlled
by Governments or cartels for most of its history.
The answer to this and many more questions can be found at an FAQ
Up | Post Carbon | Oil Depletion Protocol | Can Do Business
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