Oil shortage? Sources charge U.S. influence inflates world's supply

Will the world soon run out of oil or are we swimming in the stuff? That debate just got a little murkier following a report in the Guardiannewspaper that says figures detailing how much oil the world has on tap have been distorted in deference to the United States. The report quotes a current employee and a former staffer at the International Energy Agency, a policy adviser to 28 mostly industrialized nation that coordinates measures during oil-supply emergencies, among other tasks.

Despite forecasts that call for production to steadily rise by 2030, the world will likely instead see output decline, the U.K.-based newspaper reports, quoting an anonymous whistle-blower at the IEA. The senior official claims the U.S. has been influential in encouraging the watchdog agency to play down the rate of decline from existing oil fields while over emphasizing the chances of finding new reserves, the Guardian said.