ODAC Newsletter - 8 August 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.

Tension between the West and Russia over Georgia intensified this week, with Russia slow to withdraw, and as the US signed a deal to station a missile defence shield in Poland. This meant the Azerbaijan to Supsa pipeline stayed closed and shipments were stuck in Black Sea ports. While BP expects that the BTC pipeline should be open again within a week, there are reports that Kazakhstan is now reconsidering where its interests lie for the Kashagan field. It may decide that it is safer to export oil via Russia than to connect to the BTC.

Europe’s dependence on Russian energy was highlighted further as wholesale gas prices jumped 14% on news that a leak in a Norwegian North Sea gas pipe will close it for the winter. In the UK, BG and EDF have already announced large price increases, and this week EoN followed suit with hikes of 15% for gas and 9.7% for electricity. In the words of Adam Scorer of Energywatch “The brakes have come off the market.”

With this backdrop the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg today threw down the gauntlet to Labour and the Conservatives as he launched his party’s energy policy. The policy would turn its back on the government’s nuclear revival, concentrating instead on slashing energy use through conservation, incentivising a massive expansion of renewables and reducing reliance on imported hydrocarbons. It is interesting to note that the plan still appears to be set in the context of a growth economy, the like of which has only been possible with ever increasing energy consumption.

While change crawls along at the national level, local leaders are increasingly looking at what can be done in their jurisdiction. In the US this week Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg supported renewables in the city while underlining that real change had to come by way of conservation measures. In the UK, in support of local authorities, ODAC will shortly be releasing its new report Preparing for Peak Oil: Local Authorities and the Energy Crisis, which can be previewed online. Produced in partnership with Post Carbon Institute, the report provides local authorities with an outline of peak oil, their vulnerabilities to its consequences as well as suggesting some policies and approaches for mitigation.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Oil rises towards $121, supply concerns re-emerge

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Obama in U-turn on energy policy

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Chevron likely to delay $2.8b Brazilian project

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Coal

Showdown looms for 'climate camp'

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The stakes could not be higher. Everything hinges on stopping coal

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Old King Coal may be our saviour yet

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Energy: Drax profits halve as UK's largest source of CO2 pays price for soaring cost of carbon credits

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Electricity

China's Hubei Province Starts Electricity Rationing

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70% expect to suffer summer blackouts

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Nuclear

EDF bid for British Energy in tatters

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Government pours cold water on Centrica-BE merger plan

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Sellafield has public 'blank cheque'

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Climate

Climate change: Prepare for global temperature rise of 4C, warns top scientist

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Boost for emissions trading scheme

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Geopolitics

China and India in Imperial Energy race

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The Niger Delta: The curse of the black gold

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Researchers chart fuel-rich areas in Arctic for first time

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Kuwait plans to stockpile oil overseas

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Transport

Airlines to cut 60m seats for Christmas

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Slowdown in air passenger growth

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Disclaimers

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