Dwindling oil supplies may herald catastrophic energy crunch

A leading energy economist has warned that the world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, told The Independent.

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