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IEA released its flagship publication, World Energy Outlook 2006 (WEO 2006), last month. Its projections of the call on OPEC are unrealistic. Its estimates of Middle Eastern oil production are based more on perceptions than hard facts. The methodology is questionable. Data and figures, especially reserves data that were adopted from an industry publication (not this one), are outdated – published about a year ago. The choice of adopting certain reserve figures without reporting reserves figures estimated by other groups raises a number of political and technical questions.
The WEO problem. Experts have criticized supply predictions of IEA and the US EIA for years. In fact, this issue was the focus of several of my columns in this magazine in the past:
•“Will Gulf states live up to EIA and IEA projections?,” World Oil, June 2001.
•“Investment in Saudi Arabia needs patience and more patience,” World Oil, June 2000.
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