Richard Pike plays the odds on Today

14 July 2008

The Royal Society of Chemistry chief executive, Richard Pike, was interviewed on the BBC Today programme on the issue of world oil reserves.

Interviewed in the Today studio by presenter Evan Davis, an economist, Dr Pike employed a pair of dice to illustrate his claim that oil will probably last another 80-100 years, rather than the generally accepted 40 years.

Dr Pike believes that the law of probability, as demonstrated by the dice throwing, had not been taken into account by analysts and commentators when addressing oil availability in the years to come. He also believes that chemical scientists will play a key role in ensuring energy supplies in the decades ahead.

Also the Royal Society of Chemistry was quoted in the House of Commons during an exchange involving the energy minister.

Dr Brian Iddon, Labour, asked the minister, Alan Wicks, if he had read an article that appeared in a respected specialist Petroleum Review journal in which RSC chief executive Richard Pike first alleged that world oil reserves had been underestimated severely, with all the implications for the economy and for the environment.

The minister replied that he had not read the piece, and assumed that his copy of the journal had been delayed at the publisher's, which is surprising given that the journal was printed two years ago.

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