ODAC Newsletter - 7 November 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.

History was made this week in the US as Barack Obama was elected. After 8 years of an administration which until recently encouraged profligate energy use, there is much speculation on what an Obama administration will mean for energy policy. See commentary from Julian Darley for a view on the challenges ahead.

As the November 12th release of the 2008 International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook draws closer, there have been further leaks to the FT this week, suggesting a marked shift from the 2007 report. A significant quote from the leaked Executive Summary states that "current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable - environmentally, economically, socially". Taken along with the contribution from Shell to lasts week’s Oil Crunch report in which they predict a production peak in easy oil within the next decade, this is further evidence of growing convergence of opinion on a coming supply crunch. Shell’s analysis describes a scenario in which a plateau in oil production is maintained after the peak by exploitation of non-conventional sources. This argument was rather undermined by the news that the company has just postponed a decision on whether to expand its oil sands operations, because of the falling oil price.

As the UK received large deliveries of LNG from Qatar this week, stepping up imports to replace waning supplies from the North Sea, executive vice president John Mills of Shell sounded a warning regarding future supplies. Speaking at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference he was reported as stating that “Globally, what people have woken up to is that there is a prospect for the gas industry that its supply-demand crunch could come earlier than anticipated”. Europe is especially vulnerable to competition for gas supplies with its increasing reliance on Russia. Tensions in the Caucasus and Central Asia look set to continue as Europe, the US and Russia jockey for influence in gas rich states like Azerbaijan.

With the challenges ahead innovative and swift action to reduce energy demand and develop a range of alternatives and supportive policies, like the coming feed-in tariff scheme, is essential. With luck Obama’s optimism will prove infectious: “Can we do it? Yes we can!”

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Disclaimers

Oil

Oil at $200 will shift power to Opec

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The dawn of a disturbing new reality

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Crude Oil, Gold Fall on Slowing Demand as Global Economy Slumps

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BG postpones Kazakh plans but reveals surge in profit

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Shell pulls back from oil sands investment

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Crisis dents Brazil's dreams of oil bonanza

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Gas

Peak gas output could come 'earlier than we think': Shell's Mills

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Azerbaijan Plays Russia Off Against Europe in Contest Over Gas

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Qatar connection starts to deliver LNG

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Gas storage plans hit by setbacks

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North America

Under Obama, Dark Days Seen Ahead For Fossil Fuels

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Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package

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Economy

Further decline in trade forecast

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Petrochemical prices fall to multi-year lows

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UK

Government urged to improve 'feed in tariff' scheme for renewable energy

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Gulf petrodollars help UK go green

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Britain burying huge amounts of potential fuel

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At Sainsbury's, where there's muck, there's gas

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Transport

Gas-guzzlers face extra road tolls

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Ryanair boss predicts airline failures this winter

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European Carmakers Get $50 Billion in Aid

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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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