U.S. Bangladesh Advisory Council
Memo to General Moeen U. Ahmed, Chief of Staff, Bangladesh Army
From: K. Yusuf Salahuddin, USBAC
Date: October 16, 2007
Subject: Imminent Peak Oil and Implications for Bangladesh
Dear General Ahmed,
The USBAC would like to bring to your attention what we believe to be an extremely serious and
dangerous problem called “Peak Oil”. Peak Oil, also known as Hubert’s Peak, refers to a time when
the world’s total aggregate petroleum production will reach a maximum and then begin a precipitous
decline. If correct, and Peak Oil is imminent, it has the potential to devastate Bangladesh with famine,
civil disorder and the failure of central government potentially leading to the death of millions.
In fact, in the world’s largest oil fields, production has already peaked and begun to decline at
alarming rates. Although new fields are being discovered none them are capable of replacing these
peaking super giants. The list includes, Ghawar and Saffaniya Complexes in Saudi Arabia, 2-8% per
year, Cantarell in Mexico, 14% per year, North Sea in the UK, 3-10% per year, Burgan in Kuwait, 15%
per year, Samotlor in West Siberia, 9% per year (cum. depletion: 71%),Romashkino in the Ural, Cum
Dep. 84%, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, 11% per year, Marlim in Brazil, 8% per year.
Forecasts of predicted dates for Peak oil are, 2001- 2010 by oil expert Colin Campbell founder of
ASPO, 2005-2008 by former Bush Energy Advisor Matthew Simmons, 2014 by The Deutsche Bank,
2003-2020 by The Oil and Gas Journal, 2013-2037, by the International Energy Agency, and 2037 by
The US Geographical Survey. According to Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review,
conventional oil reserves are now declining about 4-6% a year worldwide and will peak in 2008.
The effects of Peak Oil will include rising price of petroleum and petroleum by-products, rising costs
for transportation, irrigation and fertilizer (a by-product of petroleum),rising food costs caused by
using corn, wheat and other grains in the production of ethanol, stockpiling and reduction of grain
supplies around the world, increasing instability in the Middle East and other oil producing nations,
decreasing value of the U.S. dollar as OPEC countries de-link from the USD.
The Government of Bangladesh needs to analyze all elements of oil price rise including instability in
the Middle East, increasing demand and lowering production and independently verify whether oil is
peaking or not. It must bring together the proponents and opponents of Peak Oil Theory including
ASPO, Collin Campbell, Matt Simmons and Richard Daughty to Bangladesh for intimate
conversations and have them present evidence. Once verification is complete, the Government will
need to take a number of immediate steps including buying forward oil, food and gold, creating
strategic fuel and food stockpiles, conserving natural gas by selling it in discreet units, diversify
foreign reserves, and prevent hyper-inflation by backing the taka, in part with gold.
General Ahmed, The USBAC views the potential fallout in Bangladesh from Peak Oil with great
concern and trepidation and feels its duty to duly advise The Bangladesh Government of the same.
We are in the process of preparing a more comprehensive proposal for submission to Finance
Advisor Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam and will submit it to him when we meet in Washington but we fill it
incumbent upon us to present this short memo to you as a heads up.
Yusuf Salahuddin, USBAC
Copyright U.S. Bangladesh Advisory Council