Uppsala University

The Uppsala Protocol

in Peak Oil by

Uppsala Hydrocarbon Depletion Study Group

Uppsala University, Sweden

WHEREAS the passage of history has recorded an increasing pace of change, such that the demand for energy has grown rapidly over the past 200 years since the Industrial Revolution;

WHEREAS the required energy supply has come mainly from coal and petroleum formed but rarely in the geological past, such resources being inevitably subject to depletion;

WHEREAS oil provides 90 percent of transport fuel, essential to trade, and plays a critical role in agriculture, needed to feed an expanding population;

WHEREAS oil is unevenly distributed on the Planet for well-understood geological reasons, with much being concentrated in five countries bordering the Persian Gulf;

WHEREAS all the major productive provinces had been identified with the help of advanced technology and growing geological knowledge, it being now evident that discovery reached a peak in the 1960s;

WHEREAS the past peak of discovery inevitably leads to a corresponding peak in production during the first decade of the 21st Century, assuming the extrapolation of past production trends and no radical decline in demand;

WHEREAS the onset of the decline of this critical resource affects all aspects of modern life, such having political and geopolitical implications;

WHEREAS it is expedient to plan an orderly transition to the new environment, making early provisions to reduce the waste of energy, stimulate the entry of substitute energies, and extend the life of the remaining oil;

WHEREAS it is desirable to meet the challenges so arising in a co-operative manner, such to address related climate change concerns, economic and financial stability and the threats of conflicts for access to critical resources.


1. A convention of nations shall be called to consider the issue with a view to agreeing on an Accord with the following objectives:

  • a. to avoid profiteering from shortage, such that oil prices may remain in reasonable relationship with production cost;
  • b. to allow poor countries to afford their imports;
  • c. to avoid destabilizing financial flows arising from excessive oil prices;
  • d. to encourage consumers to avoid waste;
  • e. to stimulate the development of alternative energies.

2. Such an Accord shall have the following outline provisions:

  • a. No country shall produce oil at above its current Depletion Rate, such being defined as annual production as a percentage of the estimated amount left to produce;
  • b. Each importing country shall reduce its imports to match the current World Depletion Rate.

3. Detailed provisions shall be agreed with respect to the definition of categories of oil, exemptions and qualifications, and scientific procedures for the estimation of future discovery and production.

4. The signatory countries shall cooperate in providing information on their reserves, allowing a full technical audit, such that the Depletion Rate shall be accurately determined.

5. Countries shall have the right to appeal their assessed Depletion Rate in the event of changed circumstances.

Proposed by
Colin J. Campbelll and Kjell Aleklett
Uppsala Hydrocarbon Depletion Study Group
Uppsala University, Sweden

Colin Campbell has over 40 years of experience in the oil industry. He earned a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Oxford in 1957, and has worked as a petroleum geologist in the field, as a manager, and as a consultant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest from Peak Oil

Go to Top