Belfast Telegraph

Branson: world is in danger of oil crunch

By Kelly Macnamara

Sir Richard Branson and other business leaders will warn this week that the world is hurtling towards an ‘oil crunch’ to match the financial crisis within five years.

In a report due to be launched on Wednesday, the Virgin Group founder will say that the world is running out of oil and that the coming challenges may be more serious than the credit crunch.

Sir Richard has joined other company chiefs in warning of price spikes and shortages in the near future without drastic action.

“The next five years will see us face another crunch — the oil crunch,” the report said. “This time, we do have the chance to prepare. The challenge is to use that time well.”

The report is compiled by the Industry Taskforce for Peak Oil and Energy Security, a group of private British companies whose members include Sir Richard, Brian Souter, chief executive of Stagecoach, Scottish & Southern Energy boss Ian Marchant and Philip Dilley, chairman of consultancy firm Arup.

The group said the UK economy is particularly dependent on oil - from transportation to retail — and urged any new Government to produce a coherent set of policies to enable the country to adapt to a future of high cost oil.

“Our message to government and businesses is clear. Act now,” the group said. “If we don't, we run the risk of a return to the oil price shocks of the 1970s.”

Belfast Telegraph