ODAC Newsletter - 23 April 2010


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 demand was down this week – as were most European flight schedules. The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano wrought further damage to the airline industry, which is already on its heels as a result of high fuel prices and recession.  The incident also graphically illustrated the nature of our reliance on global transport systems - currently almost entirely fuelled by oil - and gave rise to some musings on whether this might be a snapshot of the future rather than merely a temporary blip.

That we may face peak oil in the near future appears to be moving ever more into mainstream thinking. In the FT this week Kate McKenzie summarised the growing consensus around an oil crunch, even if the language and emphasis from the various groups, ranging from the UK industry taskforce (ITPOES) to the US military, differs.

The other rather crucial point of difference is on what such an oil crunch would mean. This was highlighted during Tuesday’s climate and energy hustings hosted by The Guardian. At the event the three candidates to be the next secretary of state for energy and climate change were questioned by a ticketed audience on their plans. ODAC trustee David Strahan asked a question about peak oil, which was treated far more seriously than in previous elections, yet candidates still showed a lack of understanding of the issue and its likely ramifications. See David’s ODAC Guest Commentary for his summary and for a link to audio of the peak oil responses.

In other news this week, the leaders of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, who control 70% of the world’s gas, met this week. The key outcome appears to have been support for continued efforts to link gas prices to oil. Should unconventional gas continue to boom as many forecast, however, defending the oil price linkage may prove difficult. One man who is not convinced by the hyperbole is Henry Groppe of Texas petroleum industry analysts Groppe Long & Littell, a remarkably accurate forecaster of the oil market over many decades. In his view estimates of economically recoverable volumes of gas from shale are optimistic. Based on rapid decline rates of shale wells, and a slowdown in production due to the economy he is predicting a tightening of the gas market as soon as the end of summer.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Are policymakers, economists and peak oilists starting to speak the same language?

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Oil Trades Below $84 as Dollar’s Rally Curbs Commodity Demand

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Kuwait sees bigger reserves at top oilfield

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A State With Plenty of Jobs but Few Places to Live

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Saudis Tighten China Energy Ties to Reduce U.S. Dependence

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China Lends Venezuela $20 Billion, Secures Oil Supply

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Gas

Gas exporters push for prices to be linked to crude

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A contrarian makes another call – this time, natural gas

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Moscow buys sea power with Ukraine gas deal

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UK natural gas storage: The politics, and the pundits

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Shell sees global gas demand up

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Electricity

National Grid charges putting thousands of jobs at risk, claim electricity bosses

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National Grid smart meter can take control of your dishwasher

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Biofuels

Biofuels’ green credentials called into question

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Will we switch to gas made from human waste?

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UK

Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems clash over environment policies

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Britain 'facing electricity blackouts'

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Town halls ‘to bear brunt of 600,000 public sector job cuts’

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Climate

Europe counts saved carbon emissions as flights stay grounded

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Economy

Developing world leads the global economic recovery

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What links the banking crisis and the volcano?

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Green energy needs huge spend

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Transport

Reflections on Eyjafjallajokull: Let’s Not Waste Another Wake-up Call

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Airlines lost over $1.7 bln by Tuesday: IATA

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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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