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Report: 'World at peak oil output'

  • Story Highlights
  • Report: Oil production peaked in 2006, will halve by 2030, possibly leading to war
  • Also says coal, uranium, other key fossil fuels also in declining supply
  • Center for Global Energy Studies says report is "scaremongering"
  • Debate comes as oil prices at record levels, topping $90 a barrel last week.
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The world has reached the point of maximum oil output and production levels will halve by 2030 -- a situation that will eventually lead to war and disaster, a report claims.

The German-based Energy Watch Group released a report Tuesday saying the world's oil production peaked in 2006 and from now on will drop by around 3 percent a year. It says that by as early as 2030, the global availability of oil will be half of what it was at its peak.

"It's a very serious result," said Hans-Josef Fell, a German lawmaker from the environmentalist Green Party who commissioned the report. "I fear the world will come into a big economic crisis in the coming years."

The report warns that coal, uranium, and other key fossil fuels are also in declining supply. It predicts the fall in fossil fuel production will bring with it the threat of war, humanitarian disaster, and general social unrest.

But Leo Drollas, who leads oil and gas market analysis and forecasting at the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, said there are plenty of supplies and no looming crisis. He said the report sounds like "scaremongering."

Drollas says production could still slow one day, but only because new reserves will be considered too difficult or expensive to extract.

"Oil could be left in the ground and we could move on to another fuel in the future, not because we're running out of oil but because, economically speaking, it is not worth extracting the oil," Drollas said.

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The debate comes as oil prices have hovered at record level. Wednesday morning, NYMEX crude was listed at $84.96 a barrel; oil prices topped $90 a barrel last week.

Analysts do agree, however, that oil prices could continue to rise, especially if there is further instability in the Middle East. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN Correspondent Phil Black contributed to this report

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