ODAC Newsletter - 2 November 2012


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

The US Presidential campaign in which the issue of climate change has been avoided for the first time since 1988 got a last minute shake-up this week as the Northeastern seaboard was hit by superstorm Sandy. The storm which also hit the Caribbean and Canada, might just end up forcing the climate issue back onto the political agenda. President Obama remained silent as he visited affected areas, the press was however less circumspect. Most prominently Bloomberg’s Business Week magazine went with the cover story “It’s the Global Warming Stupid”. Time will tell whether the moment proves significant for US energy policy.

While the big oil story in the US was New Yorkers queuing for gasoline, the publication of Q3 results for the major oil companies demonstrated that they are struggling to maintain output. The collapse in the US natural gas price is certainly having an impact on production, but there is also the fact that new oil has to come from harder to exploit resources. BG Group took the biggest hit after announcing that production in 2013 will be flat in contrast to market expectations of 10% growth.

A new IMF working paper was released this week considering the economic impact of a number of scenarios around stagnating or declining oil production. The report Oil and the World Economy: Some Possible Futures follows on from the excellent The Future of Oil: Geology versus Technology released earlier in the year, which found that the geological modelling of oil production had proved much more accurate than economic modelling. The latest report projects a number of different scenarios and responses. Interestingly, alongside the more standard economic models, which allow for substitution of oil based on cost alone, the study considers scenarios which take into account oil’s critical role as a requirement for the viability of many key technologies. The output contribution of oil is thus treated as higher than indicated by its cost share alone. The study shows once again that seeking economic solutions without considering peak oil makes no sense.

In the UK this week the circus that is government energy policy continued with a Laurel and Hardy performance in the House of Commons from DECC ministers Ed Davey and John Hayes. Recent arrival Hayes undermined the government’s credibility on renewables earlier in the week by telling the Daily Mail that “enough is enough” on onshore windfarms and suggesting that their impact on landscape and property prices were part of the government’s forthcoming review on costs. Hayes was quickly slapped down by Davey, but the split in the coalition on energy policy is becoming ever more obvious.

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Disclaimers

Oil

IMF study: Peak oil could do serious damage to the global economy

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Oil companies struggle to increase output

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BG Group sees £6bn wiped off its value after production warning

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Coal

Coal resurgence threatens climate change targets

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Shell attacks 'ridiculous' effects of European energy policy

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Scientists cast doubt on shale gas' low carbon credentials

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Cost of mining coal continues to climb

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Nuclear

Hitachi unveils £20bn plan to build nuclear reactors in the UK

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New nuclear reactors could be eligible for subsidies, says minister

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Nuclear power turns to developing world as west recoils from Fukushima

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US nuclear plant exits 'alert' after storm waters recede

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Renewables

Tensions clear as Energy Ministers face House of Commons

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Inconsistent, contradictory and anti-democratic – this is no way to run energy policy

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Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power by 2018, research says

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Government pumps £3.2m into social housing green heating programme

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UK

UK energy investment hits 20-year high

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Water professionals urge caution over shale gas

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Climate

It's Global Warming, Stupid

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EU energy chief backs new renewable goal post 2020

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Transport

Spain's empty highways lead to bankruptcy

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Government mulls simplified road-pricing with 'two-tier' road tax

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French supermarket uses Paris canals to reduce fuel costs

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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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