Business chiefs warn of oil crunch

Sir Richard Branson and other business chiefs are to warn that the world will face the challenges of an "oil crunch" within five years.

The Virgin Group founder is set to say in a report due to be released on Wednesday that the coming crisis may be more serious than the credit crunch.

Sir Richard and other company bosses believe that if no drastic action is taken, the world will see oil shortage and rocketing prices in the years to come.

The report, compiled by the Industry Taskforce for Peak Oil and Energy Security, said: "The next five years will see us face another crunch - the oil crunch. This time, we do have the chance to prepare. The challenge is to use that time well."

The group has called upon any new Government to come up with policies to enable the country to adapt to a future of high cost oil, adding: "Our message to government and businesses is clear. Act now."

It warned: "If we don't, we run the risk of a return to the oil price shocks of the 1970s with all the inherent uncertainty and trauma that brought."

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