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.

Despite supply disruptions in the US this week resulting from precautionary shutdowns ahead of hurricane Gustav, and a number of refineries subsequently remaining out of action due to power cuts in Louisiana, the oil price continued to drop with some commentators predicting it will go below $100. For commentary on this see Hurricane destroys oil infrastructure; oil price falls, by Richard Heinberg. The hurricane season is not over yet with still a couple of months to run and prices rose temporarily today as hurricane Ike strengthened to a category 4. Prices fell back again at the close, and Brent is now only $4 away from the symbolic value of $100.

As the markets focus on weaker economic activity lowering demand in key consumer economies rather than supply concerns, some members of OPEC are calling for production cuts. The organization will be meeting on September 9th to agree quotas. Brazil this week turned down the offer to become a member.

The geopolitical repercussions of the Georgia conflict rattled on this week. Claims that Russia might cut oil supplies if the EU imposed sanctions were denied by Moscow, but as winter approaches, countries such as Turkey are concerned about the security of their gas and oil supplies.

While Dick Cheney visited Azerbaijan and Georgia in support of Western energy pipeline interests, the woman hoping to get his job, Sarah Palin put herself firmly into the ‘drill baby drill” lobby stating interests of national security. The idea that the US could have its own cheap oil if only people were prepared to put in the effort is seductive and in an election with a nervous electorate that can work better than the truth.

U.S. Gulf refineries at mercy of battered power grid
Palin says U.S. oil imports pose security risk
Azerbaijan export pipeline issues prompt Cheney visit
Iran calls for production cuts as oil price plummets
Russia seeks to ease fears over oil supplies

China, Turkmenistan agree to boost planned gas sales
U.S. Aug. LNG Imports Drop 63% on Asian Demand, Consultant Says
Cold winter fear grips Turkey
Jerusalem concerned as Egypt halts gas supply to Israel

Germany leads ‘clean coal’ pilot
Nasa scientist appears in court to fan the flames of coal power station row
Coal plans go up in smoke

The wind of change is slow to blow through Britain’s energy policy
Solar plant yields water and crops from the desert

Government tries to salvage fuel poverty initiative
UK Coal posts loss after fall in land value

Airline losses set to exceed $5bn
BP settles dispute with Russian billionaires
Gazprom to Establish Nigerian Energy Joint Venture
People’s Bank of China powers into Britain
General Motors calls on US government for help over green cars