Scientists say that our oil reserves are disappearing at a faster rate than our governments and the oil companies are willing to admit. A new report from British Petroleum (BP) says that there are enough “proven” oil reserves to keep us going, at current usage rates, for another 40 years. But researchers say that oil production will peak in the next 4 years and decline steadily from then on. Which side is right?

In the Independent, Daniel Howden writes about geologist Colin Campbell, who has worked for major oil companies, including BP, Shell, Exxon and ChevronTexaco. Campbell says that regular oil?the kind that can be easily and inexpensively extracted from the earth?already peaked in 2005, and even if you factor in the more difficult to extract oil, which is in deep sea reserves, polar regions and comes from gas, the total oil peak will arrive as early as 2011.

Howden quotes geologist Colin Campbell as saying, “It’s quite a simple theory and one that any beer drinker understands. The glass starts full and ends empty and the faster you drink it the quicker it’s gone.”

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