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Oil production limit reached
An international oil industry expert says the limit of global oil production has been reached.
Academic and former National Iranian Oil Company executive Dr Ali Samsam Bakhtiari has told the Financial Services Institute in Sydney the world's oil fields are producing as much oil as they can.
He says giant fields in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are struggling to meet production targets.
Dr Bakhtiari says the massive output declines in the North Sea oil fields and Mexican oil fields will have a major economic impact.
"Crude oil is the master domino," he said. "When you tumble crude oil, all the other dominos tumble."
Dr Bakhtiari says for the first time in 150 years, the world is entering an era in which it cannot have all the oil it wants.
He says there are five years left to plan priorities for the use of crude oil.
"Some countries don't even know what is happening," he said.
"Some huge companies don't even know what is happening and they are going to be ambushed and trapped and they are going to panic.
"The worst thing you can do is to panic when the prices are going to go sky-high."
He says he does not know how high the price of crude oil has to go to reduce demand but so far, it has tripled in four years.
He says OPEC is already producing as much as it can and new discoveries are small.
"The problem will become the day that you cannot optimise by price," he said.
"You will have to optimise by availability, so there won't be oil for everyone."