ODAC Newsletter - 18 April 2008


Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

Oil set a series of new highs this week, and closed at just under $117 as ODAC went to print. And for once this week’s coverage focused less on market minutiae and more on the fundamental supply constraints.

True, there was some big talk from the head of Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, who claimed the country harbours a monster discovery offshore of some 33 billion barrels. But the Agency quickly distanced itself from these remarks. In the first of four guest commentaries this week Dr. Michael Smith puts the find into perspective.

Even if true, the Brazilian claims were eclipsed in significance by two major stories in the FT this week. One revealed that a report by advisors to the Nigerian government had concluded the country’s “total oil and gas production will decline by 30 per cent from its current level by 2015” even if current levels of E&P funding are maintained. The other reported remarks by Lukoil VP Leonid Fedun that Russian oil output has peaked. In our second guest commentary, we bring you a real insider’s view of this profoundly important news, from Ray Leonard, the former head of exploration at Yukos.

The other important news story this week is that a Japanese company has succeeded in producing industrial quantities of methane hydrates from more than a kilometer down for six days in a row, a development that potentially heralds the unleashing of vast quantities of this non-conventional gas. To explain what this means for the climate, our third guest commentary comes from Pushker Karecha, a Climate Scientist with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and co-author of an important paper on peak oil and climate change with GISS director Jim Hansen.

This week also saw the opening of Britain’s first hydrogen fuel station at Birmingham University, but as usual nobody is asking where the hydrogen will come from in the long term. According to the Times, “the car industry has seen the fuel cell as the holy grail that will help to relieve it of its dependence on oil”, but our fourth guest commentary, from David Strahan, ODAC trustee and author of The Last Oil Shock, shows that to be delusional.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Lukoil VP says Russian oil output peaked in 2007

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Russia braces for oil output decline

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Nigeria’s oil output ‘could fall by a third’

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New find sparks Brazil's latest burst of oil fever

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What lies beneath

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Iraq opens door to foreign contracts at major oil fields

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Venezuela raises foreign oil tax

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Chinese fund builds up £1bn stake in BP

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Supply-side squeeze explains spike in oil

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IEA cuts world oil demand growth by most in 7 years

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Oil surges as investors hunt an 'anti-dollar'

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Gas

Japan's Arctic methane hydrate haul raises environment fears

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Gazprom signs fuel supply deal with Libya

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Tehran delivers gas ultimatum

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EU manoeuvring for non-Russian gas supplies

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Renewables

Big oil to big wind: Texas veteran sets up $10bn clean energy project

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Biofuels

Petrol must now include biofuels

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Biofuel: the burning question

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Biofuels: a blueprint for the future?

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Poor go hungry while rich fill their tanks

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Food

Rice traders hit by panic as prices surge

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World leaders urge action on food prices

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Manila calls for Asian summit over food crisis

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Global food system 'must change'

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Change in farming can feed world - report

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Climate

Bush climate strategy falls flat

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Stern takes bleaker view on warming

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UK

Energy firms to raise fuel poverty spending

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Japan shuns UK power investment

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Transport

Hydrogen fuel stations for cars land in Britain

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800,000 eco-cars by 2015 - Volkswagen likely to make units locally

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Record fuel costs hit US airlines’ profits

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Eurostar sees 21% increase in passengers

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Disclaimers

The items contained in this newsletter are distributed as submitted and are provided for general information purposes only. ODAC does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in these submissions, nor does it guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information presented.

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