BRIEF – 8 February 2010 – Virgin group founder Richard Branson and other business leaders in the UK have warned that an oil crisis could hit world economies within five years and that it would have a more serious impact than the credit crunch, according to a report in The Guardian.

The warnings are based on report commissioned by Mr Branson and fellow businessmen, which said prices wre likely to spike after 2012-13.

The newspaper also pointed to support for this view from Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy group, and Brian Souter, chief executive of transport operator Stagecoach.

At the  World Economic Forum in Davos Thierry Desmarest, chief executive of the Total oil company in France, “also broke ranks,”The Guardian said and said the world would struggle to produce 10 per cent above present levels.

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