Leading figures from the Middle East oil industry have added their voices to those warning that the world is struggling to sustain rising oil production.

“There is a real problem — that supply may not be possible to increase beyond a certain level, say around 100 million barrels,” Libya’s National Oil Corporation chairman Shokri Ghanem said at an industry conference.

“The reason is, in some countries production is going down and we are not discovering any more of those huge oil wells that we used to discover in the Sixties or the Fifties.”

Sadad al-Husseini, a key architect of Saudi Arabian energy production policy for more than a decade, was even more pessimistic, saying world oil production had already plateaued. “We are already three years into level production,” Husseini also told the annual Oil & Money conference, a gathering of top executives.

Thank God for the oil sands…. (only joking – read the next blog)