Natural gas as answer to oil decline could lead to catastrophe, says leading expert

Natural gas as answer to oil decline could lead to catastrophe, says leading expert

Ploughing resources into the use of natural gas as an alternative energy supply could lead to global shortage within 20 years time, according to a leading energy expert.

Professor in Physics at Uppsala University in Sweden, Kjell Aleklett, says reliance on natural gas – believed by many to be a key source of alternative fuel for the future – would be a major mistake.

Whilst it could provide a short term solution to the energy issue, Professor Aleklett believes it is not the long term answer we need to tackle what he predicts will be a continuing decline in global oil production.

Professor Aleklett will outline his views this evening (Thursday 5 March) in his lecture Global Energy Resources – The Peak Oil View– which takes place as part of the institution's Energy Controversies lecture series.

Professor Aleklett said: "The problem we should be concerning ourselves with is not climate change but the fact that there are too many people and not enough energy resources. 

"We have reached a level where economic growth in the oil and gas industry is no longer possible. Looking for alternative energy sources has to become a key priority to counteract the continuing decline in global oil production which I predict we will experience.

"Many are looking to natural gas as a solution for electricity production in the future, but this is a massive mistake.  Natural gas could generate enough energy to meet the demand for the next five to 10 years, but it is not a long term sustainable option. 

"To expand the use of natural gas would be a mistake which could have catastrophic economical consequences for UK, Europe and across the globe in 20 years time. When we are hit by "Peak Gas" there are no alternatives for power generation. We have a discussion about future energy policy - it's time to start to discuss the future power policy."   

The University's Energy Controversies lecture series brings together leading international industry and academic experts to discuss the current challenges and debates facing the energy sector. 

Professor Aleklett will deliver his lecture to a 250 strong audience at the sold out event which begins at 6pm at the University's King's College Conference Centre.

Aimed at influencing energy and social policy at a local and national level, the Energy Controversies series features seven public lectures and a discussion panel event. 

 Highly topical issues to be covered over the course of the series include:


  • The exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves and their decline as an energy source
  • The impact of the changing political climate on the energy industry
  • The concern surrounding the environmental impact of our continued use of fossil fuels


Dr Peter Jackson, Senior Director for Oil Industry Activity at Cambridge Energy Research Associates and Professor Bahman Tohidi, Director of the Centre for Gas Hydrate Research at Heriot Watt University, will be amongst the lecture speakers, providing their unique insights into critical issues high on the energy agenda over the next few weeks.

Anyone interested in booking a free place for any of the remaining lectures in the series should visit or telephone the University of Aberdeen Events Office on 01224 273874.