How Cross City Tunnel planners ignored Peak Oil

Due to lack of patronage and anger of motorists about changed traffic conditions in and around Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel a Parliamentary inquiry was set up in December 2005

to investigate contract negotiations, community consultations, the methodology used by the RTA and how Government agencies entered into private public partnership agreements.

In my submission #8 I listed all peak oil warnings which were ignored during the decision making process, all together 13 warnings, in this table:

Peak Oil Warnings


Cross City Tunnel History

1995: The World’s Oil Supply 1930-2050; Petroconsultants. CJ Campbell and JH Laherrere warned that coil production will peak by or after 2000, followed by permanent decline


March 1998: The Scientific American publishes  Campbell / Laherrere’s article “The End of Cheap Oil”.


Nov. 1998: Chartered Institute of Transport in Australia, National Symposium, Launceston. Brian J Fleay analyses the topic: “Climaxing Oil. How will transport adapt?”



1998: As part of “Action for Transport 2010” a road tunnel under the CBD was proposed. Concept design started by RTA
July 1999: C.J. Campbell presents to the House of Commons All Party Committee “The imminent peak of world oil production”


Apr. 2000: The US Department of Energy puts on its web site the slide show “Long Term World Oil Supply”, based on the USGS 2000 mean estimate, showing a possible peak in 2016 under the assumption of moderate decline rates after the peak.


May 2000: J.Laherrere publishes “Is USGS 2000 Assessment Reliable?”






Aug. 2000: RTA releases EIS

Sep.  2000: RTA calls for tender even before public exhibition closes

Fall 2001: K.Deffeyes, Professor at Princeton University, publishes his book “Hubbert’s Peak, The Impending World Oil Shortage”, forecasting a peak in 2005, but not later than 2009.


Dec 2001: Australian Energy News reports about a visit of Les Magoon (USGS) to Australia in an article entitled “Oil production curve cause for concern”


Oct 2001: Minister of Planning approves EIS
Jan 2002; Matt Simmons; The World’s Giant Oilfields, Hubbert Center Newsletter 2002/1


Feb. 2002: Cross City Motorway Consortium announced as preferred proponent
Mar 2002: Woodside Petroleum CEO Akehurst informs shareholders of Australian oil decline: investorpack/SG3682_3_ABARE.pdf


May 2002: Matthew Simmons: „Depletion and US Energy policy”, International Workshop on oil depletion, Uppsala Sweden


Jun 2002: Bruce Robinson on Australia’s oil vulnerability


July 2002: Supplementary EIS put on display
Sep 2002: The Sydney Morning Herald publishes an article entitled “The oil war”


Oct 2002: CSIRO’s „Future Dilemmas“ highlights serious physical constraints in Australia’s economy:



Nov. 2002: Supplementary Representations Report released for public consumption
Dec. 2002: Minister for Planning approves “Approved Activity”

My submission #8 is here: