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ODAC Newsletter - August 1

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.

Record quarterly profits at BP and Exxon will fuel public anger about high fuel prices, but the big numbers obscure a trend of falling production. Shell, Exxon and Chevron saw overall production declines, while BP runs the risk of losing control of TNK-BP accounting for about a quarter of its production. The resumption of attacks in Nigeria this week continued to impact Shell’s production and increasing reliance on tar sands is environmentally disastrous and politically controversial.

In the UK the results which have drawn the most ire are those of Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, which announced profits of nearly £1bn in the same week in which BG announced a record price hike of 35% for gas. With wholesale gas prices falling sharply this week the profits have renewed calls for the introduction of windfall taxes.

The background picture on gas is however no better than for oil. With decreasing output in the UK and the rest of Europe, reliance on imports is increasing. Russia, already the biggest player in the game, is using its influence to further sew up the market. A recent deal with Turkmenistan threatens Europe’s ability to secure an alternative gas supply via the favoured Nabucco pipeline, while discussions in the Ukraine over transit costs could impact the price of current supplies. For the UK which has built an infrastructure based on cheap gas this is a bleak picture indeed.

China continued to ramp up for the Olympics this week amid increasing power cuts. Let us hope this is not a taste of things to come in London 2012.

Oil
BP hits a record but warns of Russia risk
Exxon, Chevron Rely on Record Prices for Gains as Output Drops
Shell shock as oil giant misses targets
Nigeria: Oil Production Drops Below 1 Million BPD
Iraqi oil output rises as security improves
2008 Oil Production Estimate Reduced
Oil: Campaigners seek an end to production of CO2-intensive 'unconventional fuels'
US Treasury blames supply and demand for oil prices

Gas
British Gas lifts prices by record 35%
British Gas owner makes almost £1bn profit
Households must pay more just as gas price falls
Russia takes control of Turkmen (world?) gas
Ukrainian political battle could hit European gas prices

Electricity
Coal shortage brings fear of electricity crisis in China
Industry takes a bad beating due to power cuts

Politics
Emission permit auctions to net £2bn
We need leadership on energy, not hot air
Vote stalls renewable energy issue
Spain to cut speed limit in bid to reduce oil imports

Transport
What is going to power our cars?
British Airways and Iberia confirm merger talks
Ryanair shares plunge as airline dives into red

Editorial Notes: Text and commentary at original.

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