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.

Increasingly gloomy economic news in Europe and the US this week brought oil prices back down below $135 from a new record of $147, but also increased pressure on politicians.

In the UK, the government gave into long running pressure to drop the scheduled increase in fuel tax. In the US George Bush lifted the presidential ban on off-shore drilling. Bush’s statement was clearly aimed at putting pressure on the Democratic Congress to lift their ban and prompted Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi to fire back with a statement of her own urging the President to release some oil from the Strategic Reserves. Both leaders are promoting the idea that supply can be increased and prices brought back down as a result. Matt Simmons clearly shocked his host and fellow panelists when appearing on CNBCs Fast Money this week by stating that oil is still too cheap.

The view that global peak oil is imminent was strengthened this week with ‘insider’ news that Saudi Arabia’s production will peak at 12mbd before scaling back. For excellent commentary on the importance of this story read ‘Peak Oil is a Done Deal’ by David Cohen of ASPO USA.

In a speech to the Union for the Mediterranean summit, Gordon Brown referred this week to the ‘post oil economy’ as recognition of the impending energy crisis appears to be growing in Whitehall. The speech painted a picture of a future of renewable and nuclear energy, hybrid and electric cars and efficient appliances. Given the response to his remarks about cutting food waste it would perhaps be churlish to expect the Prime Minister to suggest that more drastic energy consumption reduction might be necessary in order to make this transition.

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Oil Falls Below $134 After Plunging on Unexpected Supply Gain
Oil Slick: Why Are Crude Prices Falling?
Bush will end executive ban on offshore drilling
Pelosi Statement on Today’s Record Drop in Oil Prices
12mn barrels per day ‘is Saudi Arabia’s oil limit’
China Boosts Fuel Imports to Highest in Five Years
Russian oil at ‘critical juncture’


Europe told to expect doubled gas price
India May Pay Twice as Much for Gas by 2010 on Demand


Spiralling fuel costs force British Airways to raise fares
UK tour operators must axe thousands of jobs
Eurostar sales up as travellers dump planes in favour of trains
Gasoline Demand Falls a 12th Consecutive Week, MasterCard Says


Brown calls for eight new nuclear plants
Government relents and scraps fuel duty rise
Many Tory MPs still sceptical on climate change
City watchdog rejects oil markets loophole


UK consumer inflation hits 16-year peak
President upbeat, but nothing else is
China’s economy slows but still expands at double-digit pace
Clouds darken Europe’s growth prospects