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    Total Chief Executive warns of looming oil shortage

    News // September 23, 2009

    BBC News Online recently reported that the head of oil giant Total believes the world could face a shortage of oil because of underinvestment.

    Chief executive Christophe de Margerie warned that too little has been spent trying to tap into new oil reserves because of the economic crisis.

    "If we don't move [now] there will be a problem," Mr de Margerie told the BBC. "In two or three years it will be too late."

    He also said he thought oil prices would rise to more than US$100 a barrel, from their current level of around US$70. 
     
    "The reserves of oil are there, but if you don't invest they don't come on the market," Mr de Margerie said.

    "What we have to decide today is production for 2010-2015. So in between we might be faced with insufficient oil to meet demand."

    He told BBC that the major oil producing countries, which have cut production in the face of falling demand and to protect prices, could not be blamed for the underinvestment. "You cannot ask those countries who are also facing a crisis to continue to invest for a potential recovery of demand, and to do this for the benefit of the world."

    Instead, he called on heads of government to get involved. "I think it is our role to... force people in charge of our countries to think about this concern we have," he said.

     

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