Oil Depletion Protocol

The Oil Depletion Protocol is an international agreement that will enable nations of the world to cooperatively reduce their dependence on oil. It was proposed by Dr. Colin Campbell, a prominent petroleum geologist and founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO), in 1996.

By agreeing to reduce oil imports and exports by a specified amount each year, about 2.6 percent, signatory nations will help mitigate the negative consequences of an over-reliance on cheap oil and help prepare for a global decline in the world’s oil supply. The premise of the Protocol is inherently straightforward: oil importing nations would agree to reduce their imports by an agreed-upon yearly percentage, referred to as the World Oil Depletion Rate, while oil producing nations would agree to reduce their rate of production by their National Depletion Rate. This simple and sensible formula will produce, in effect, a global rationing system. If the entire world adopted the Protocol, global consumption of oil would decline by almost 3 percent per annum, thus stabilizing prices, preserving the resource base, and reducing competition for remaining supplies.

The Oil Depletion Protocol Book

In 2005, peak oil authority Richard Heinberg read Dr. Colin Campbell’s proposal and immediately realised the Protocol’s potential. Richard began working on the book, The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse, which highlights the need for the implementation of the Oil Depletion Protocol and suggests ways in which the Protocol can be adopted. Written for policy makers and the general public, the book is an informative and easy-to-understand must-read. Specifically, the book:

  • provides an overview of the data concerning Peak Oil and its timing

  • briefly explains the Protocol and its implications for the reader and for decision makers in government and industry around the world

  • deals with frequently asked questions and objections, and

  • explains how the Protocol can be adopted and how local governments and ordinary citizens can facilitate the process.

Timely and critically important, The Oil Depletion Protocol is a must-read for all who seek to avert a Peak Oil collapse.

The Project

The Oil Depletion Protocol Project is an initiative undertaken by Post Carbon Institute, in association with Richard Heinberg, to lay the groundwork for and facilitate the successful adoption and implementation of the Protocol.