ODAC Newsletter - 26 October 2012


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

BP took a gamble this week, entering into partnership with the Russian state backed energy company Rosneft. The deal frees the company from a stormy relationship with its oligarch partners at TNK BP. At the same time, it effectively makes BP business partners with the Kremlin. The words frying pan and fire may spring to mind. The deal, which sees Rosneft take over the TNK subsidiary, while BP gains a 20% stake in the Russian company, demonstrates the huge risks that major oil companies are forced to take to feed the production pipeline.

While BP was busy on the eastern front, the signs from the wild west are that the bottom is falling out of the shale gas boom. The New York Times picked up the story this week in an article about the Haynesville formation. The tale is one of gold rush style land deals with “use it or lose it “drilling rights, which forced huge amounts of drilling at uncommercial prices. With the gas price now lower than the cost of production, the rigs have moved on to drill for oil where prices still comfortably cover average production costs. The estimates for how much oil can be produced at what cost vary wildly; see more on this at The Oil Drum.

In the UK the battle over energy policy continued this week.  Ousted Energy Minister Charles Hendry warned in the Observer on the dangers of over reliance on gas for future energy security – in his view, there may be shale gas, but it won’t come cheap. The Renewable Energy Association (REA) took up the fight releasing a briefing note on how renewables subsidies had added only 2% to energy prices in the last two years with gas prices driving much of the increase. Add to that the uncertainty over new nuclear where the lack of bidders looks to be pushing up the likely cost and forcing the government into crazy contortions to honour its no-subsidies pledge, and it is easy to see why Ed Miliband said that UK energy policy is “unravelling” – although it could hardly have been described as “ravelled” under New Labour. With so much political lobbying on the topic the message that the government is not into picking winners is wearing  thin.

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Disclaimers

Oil

BP's Bob Dudley risks an even grizzlier Russian bear hug

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Oil Set for Second Weekly Drop on Demand Outlook as Supply Rises

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Insight: Is Ohio's "secret" energy boom going bust?

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North Sea oil and gas licensing round 'successful'

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Saudi, Iran and Iraq clash over OPEC top job

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Gas

After the Boom in Natural Gas

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Putin tells Russian gas exporters to look east

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Nuclear

Future of UK nuclear power hangs in the balance, says EDF boss

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EON Withdraws From Finnish Nuclear Project on Price Slide

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Japan struggling to store radioactive water

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Government considers 'blank cheque' nuclear subsidies

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China to approve only "small amount" of nuclear reactors before 2015

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Renewables

Renewable subsidies add just £4 to energy bills, REA says

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WWF makes case for targeted renewables support

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Is the Chancellor preparing to cap new onshore wind farms?

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London Array seeks consent for 240MW extension

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Green energy would save EU trillions by 2050 -report

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UK public favours wind turbines over shale gas wells, poll finds

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Biofuels

Centrica bails on British biomass plants

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Algae biofuel not sustainable now-U.S. research council

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UK

Energy: We must mix to match future demands in Britain

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Big Energy Saving Week aims to stoke consumer interest

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Climate

US presidential debates' great unmentionable: climate change

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EU inflates CO2 achievement, ignores imports

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UK makes biggest emissions cuts in Europe

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Disclaimers

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