07_Gault 14/5/07 3:50 pm Page 431 John C. Gault Geneva The assumption that Gulf OPEC countries will expand their oil production capacities to meet any projected call on OPEC has been a weakness of long term forecasts (and not only those published by the IEA) for as long as I can remember. Dr. AlHajji’s criticisms here are pertinent but some are not new. My own reaction to the IEA World Energy Outlook 2006 is slightly different. I find the recent World Energy Outlook useful and, indeed, a refreshing and overdue departure from past editions. Firstly, I do not generally interpret published forecasts as predictions of what will actually occur in the future. Such forecasts have the more limited purpose of demonstrating the logical consequences over time of a set of clearly-identified assumptions, ceteris paribus. Secondly, I generally assume that a published forecast reflects some sort of agenda or bias on the part of the author(s). In the case of the IEA, its advocacy of the interests of energy-importing countries is clear and unabashed. There is nothing wrong with this, but consumers of IEA publications must always bear this in mind. Subject to these two caveats, there is much to
Energy & Environment – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2007
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