ODAC Newsletter - 30 July 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.

Another week on and there has been no further leak from the BP Macondo well. Officials are now “optimistic” about preparations for a new attempt at a permanent seal, with the initial step of pumping mud into the top of the well likely to begin as soon as Sunday. With the leak apparently under control, BP chose this week to announce the inevitable departure of its CEO Tony Hayward, whose replacement by the American Bob Dudley was vital for the company’s damage limitation efforts in the US.

Hayward’s departure was announced on Wednesday along with BP’s second quarter results which showed a loss of $17bn, the biggest quarterly loss in British Corporate history. BP set aside $32.2bn to cover losses associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, based on the company’s claim that it was not grossly negligent. But that question will be decided in the American courts, and if BP is wrong, it may need to set aside another $10 billion for higher fines.

Second quarter results from other oil majors showed increased profits reflecting higher oil prices. Peter Voser Chief Executive of Shell, announcing their results on Thursday, stressed the importance of deepwater drilling to future oil production – underlining our increasing dependence on risky, carbon intensive and expensive resources.  The Obama administration’s attempt to pass landmark legislation on greenhouse gas emissions was abandoned this week, and replaced which a much more limited energy bill focussing on measures around oil spills and energy efficiency.

In Britain, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne delivered the first of the coalition government’s new Annual Energy Statements this week, along with a call for evidence on future energy scenarios to achieve an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 Pathways Analysis report specifically includes a re-examination of the oil outlook over the next 40 years, and an ODAC trustee has been invited to take part - a welcome sign the new government is open to a wider range of views than the last. We hope the coalition also distinguishes itself from New Labour by avoiding the trap of endless consultation becoming a substitute urgent reform of energy policy.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Officials optimistic amid preparations to seal Gulf oil well

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BP makes record loss as Tony Hayward quits

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Shell defends deep-water drilling as profits soar

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Exxon Mobil Second-Quarter Profit Climbs After Oil Prices Rise

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'BP squad' assembled for criminal investigation

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BP Spill Thwarts Shell, Statoil in Arctic Oil Delay

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UK steps up offshore rig inspections as US probe begins

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Crude Oil Falls, Poised for Weekly Decline, on Slowing Economy

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Tullow to start $10bn Uganda development

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Gas

China First-Half Gas Demand Rises 22% as Output Grows

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British Gas warns of rising energy bills as profits double

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Renewables

Hot offer: free solar panels and lower bills

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US renewable energy industry in call for action

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Offshore wind needs £10bn to avoid missing green targets

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Engineers race to design world's biggest offshore wind turbines

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Biofuels

Don't fall for jatropha plants, warns UN body

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UK

Government energy plans unveiled by Chris Huhne

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UK energy scenarios: working with a flawed model

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Ofgem ovehauls UK energy regulation

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Councils “key” to meeting 2020 targets

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Britain pledges millions in electric car subsidies

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CBI attacks plan to tighten emissions targets

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Ban on new coal-fired power plants without CCS

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Climate

US Senate drops bill to cap carbon emissions

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Modern cargo ships slow to the speed of the sailing clippers

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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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