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Cheap energy no more, IEA says

  |   April 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM
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LUXEMBOURG, April 22 (UPI) -- The global energy sector will have to kick into high gear to meet soaring demand, the IEA said as it warned of the end of cheap energy.

The International Energy Agency warned that it won't be easy to reverse the rise in energy prices because it's getting harder to access and exploit conventional resources.

"The age of cheap energy is over," said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka in a statement from Luxembourg.

Tanaka said that if one assumes high prices are here to stay, the energy sector needs to consider whether the "extra rent" goes into the pocketbooks of global energy companies is going toward increased environmental sustainability.

IEA analysts said the world needs another 50 million barrels of oil from new fields by 2035 in order to meet expected demand. Crude oil production from existing fields, meanwhile, is expected to decline from the 68-million-barrel-per-day mark in 2009 to just 16 million bpd by 2035.

"Despite the fact that crude oil production doesn't increase, the need for new capacity on a gross basis is still very large, because so much of the world's existing production capacity will have been lost by the end of the projection period (of 2035)," said Tanaka.

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