BHP Billiton’s petroleum chief Tim Cutt has laid responsibility on the oil industry to find economic new supply sources and drive down costs in order to prevent a future spike in prices.
Mr Cutt told the APPEA conference in Melbourne on Monday that US oil production, which has surged by 3 million barrels a day in the past four years thanks to the shale boom, is likely to peak within the next decade, increasing reliance on new sources around the world.
But in the last two decades, the industry has been finding less than half the amount it has consumed each year. Current consumption is running at over 30 billion barrels on an annual basis.
“In the past four years discoveries were less than 10 billion barrels per year and in 2014 they amounted to less than six,” Mr Cutt said.