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.

In the week of the World Petroleum Congress in Madrid the dominant story has been the content of the latest report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Despite OPEC sticking to its assertion that the high oil price is mostly down to speculation, the IEA declared that the current prices are “justified by fundamentals”. The IEA also concurred with last week’s EIA report in predicting a gap between global demand and supply capacity.

As oil prices continue to rise, breaking records once again today at over $146, political leaders around the world are coming under increasing pressure. Geopolitical tensions, especially the Iran nuclear dispute, are in turn driving the price still higher. The risks of competition for energy in a supply constrained market were discussed by Michael Meacher in the Observer this week. News that US advisors recently assisted in drawing up contracts for Iraqi oil fields, and that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is visiting the gas producing regions of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, in an attempt to secure gas contracts which are also being sought by the EU, underline this.

Another risk becoming increasingly apparent as a result of what IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka this week described as “the third oil shock”, is that contrary to what some green campaigners may have hoped, constraints around oil and gas are likely to worsen environmental damage rather than assist in reducing it. In the UK this week John Hutton put his cards on the table saying that he will support the building of new coal plants without waiting for development of carbon capture technology. In the US a poll showed increased public support for off-shore and Arctic drilling and weakening support for conservation.

Faced with a number of costly choices, both in monetary and human terms, this is an important time to prevail upon decision makers and business leaders to look beyond the next election or quarterly results as a timeframe for success. Our lives depend on it.

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World oil supplies staying tight to 2013 – IEA
Oil price flies to record high beyond $146
U.S. Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals
BP-TNK faces fresh call for British chief executive to resign
The era of oil wars
The world must kick its addiction to oil
SEC looks to classify oil sands as reserves

U.S. Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals
Iraq fails to sign deals with oil majors

Iran Faces Delays in Natural-Gas Output, Exports, FACTS Says
Medvedev Aims at Caspian Gas Lockup as Europe Seeks Supplies
CoalHutton eyes coal to replace imports of gas

This economic panic is pushing the planet right back down the agenda
Greenhouse gas plan irks airlines

FTSE heads for bear market as oil hits high

UK fuel protesters head for parliament
More Americans embrace drilling amid high gas prices